Cal Poly’s Annual Bach Week Jan. 21-25 Will Showcase the Masterpiece Mass in B Minor

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Music Department will present Bach Week from Tuesday through Saturday, Jan. 21-25, with presentations and performances on campus and at the First Presbyterian Church in San Luis Obispo. 

This year, the festival will revolve around Bach’s most momentous work, the Mass in B Minor, BWV 232.

Bach Week features a range of events, including a cello chamber concert paired with an illuminating Akademie lecture, a chamber concert featuring vocal guest artists and instrumental guest artists performing on period instruments, collaborative performances of large vocal and instrumental works by students and professionals, two master classes, and guest lectures throughout the week.

The first four events will take place on campus in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45):
- At 6 p.m. Jan. 21, music Professor Craig H. Russell will present an Akademie lecture titled “Bach’s Suites: The Summation of Style, Structure, Science, and the Dance of Nations.” During the Age of Reason, scientists and mathematicians strove to explain the cosmos — with its laws of motion and energy — in a complete, rational, and structured way. In his talk, Russell will show how Bach similarly strove to explore the musical cosmos — with its panorama of national styles and rules of composition — in his encyclopedic, all-encompassing collections for keyboard, solo violin and unaccompanied cello.
- At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, cellists Barbara Spencer, Jeanne Shumway and Hilary Clark conclude a two-year cycle of the cello suites of J.S. Bach. Each will perform one of these monuments of the solo cello literature. Come to the preceding Akademie lecture to explore the greater Baroque context in which these instrumental suites were created. All the cellists perform in major ensembles on the Central Coast. Spencer and Shumway teach cello at Cal Poly. 
- At 11:10 a.m. Jan. 23, guest artists Andrew McIntosh (violin), Paul Sherman (oboe), and Ian Pritchard (harpsichord) will coach Cal Poly students in instrumental repertoire from the Baroque era and provide insight into the style and nuance of giving a historically informed performance.
- At 3:10 p.m. Jan. 23, guest artist Matthew Goinz, a former member of the world-famous men’s ensemble Cantus, will coach several Cal Poly voice students in repertoire from the Baroque era. 

This year’s chamber concert and pre-concert lecture will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo:
- At 7 p.m. Jan. 24, Baroque music specialist John T. Brobeck, director of graduate studies at the University of Arizona, will give a pre-concert lecture on music of the Dresden Court.
- At 8 p.m. Jan. 24, experience music celebrating Baroque Dresden — capital of Saxony and seat of the royal court — for which much of the Mass in B Minor was composed. The concert will include instrumental music performed by members of the world-class period instrument ensemble Tesserae Baroque — Andrew McIntosh (violin), Heesun Choi (violin), Leif Woodward (cello), and Ian Pritchard (harpsichord) — and guest artist Paul Sherman (oboe). Two works for solo voice and small instrument ensemble featuring guest artists Rebecca Myers, soprano, and Matthew Goinz, baritone, will round out the program.

The week will culminate with a lecture on, and performance of, one of the most important choral orchestral works of all time: Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
- At 5:30 p.m. Jan. 25, Brobeck will lecture on the history, composition and legacy of the Mass in B Minor. The lecture will take place in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45).
- The Bach Week finale, Mass in B Minor, starts at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. Members of Cal Poly’s Chamber Choir, Symphony and faculty join with guest artists to perform one of the most difficult and important masterworks of all time. The concert will be in Miossi Hall of the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.

Admission is free to events in the Davidson Music Center and to the lectures, though parking will be enforced. For more information on visitor parking on campus, Cal Poly’s Transportation and Parking Services website.

There is a suggested donation at the door for the Jan. 24 concert of $15 for the public, and $10 for students. Tickets for the Jan. 25 finale concert are $15 for the public, and $10 for students. Tickets are sold at the Cal Poly Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).

The events are sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts, Music Department, Instructionally Related Activities program and Tevis Fund for Visiting Artists. Additional support is provided by the Handler and Steiner Family Fund. 

For more information, visit the Bach Week website or call the Music Department at 805-756-2406. 

Links
- Bach Week: bachweek.calpoly.edu
- Cal Poly Ticket Office: tickets.calpoly.edu
- Cal Poly Transportation and Parking Services: parking.calpoly.edu/parkingoncampus/visitingthecampus/
- Davidson Music Center: maps.calpoly.edu/place/bldg-045-0
- First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo: fpcslo.org/contact/
- Performing Arts Center: maps.calpoly.edu/place/bldg-006-0

Contact: Michele Abba
805-756-2406; mabba@calpoly.edu

December 16, 2019

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