The University Record, March 6, 2000

Bach marathon is March 11–12

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

From “Switched on Bach” to “Bach Around the Clock” and “Back to Bach,” U-M faculty and students will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach with a non-stop 24-hour concert in Hill Auditorium. The program begins at 8 p.m. March 11 with the presentation of The English Concert by the University Musical Society.

All presentations are free and open to the public except the opening performance of the complete Brandenburg Concertos by The English Concert. Tickets are available from the University Musical Society, 764-2538. Tickets are not needed for the other presentations.

At 10:30 p.m., Margo Halsted will ring in “Bach Around the Clock” from the bells of the Burton Memorial Tower. At 11 p.m. the Marimba Ensemble will offer the sounds of mellow mallets in teams and solos. The midnight hour will open with the first of three segments of “Violin Sonatas and Partitas” from the complete violin books. Beginning at 1 a.m. on March 12, jazz ensembles will celebrate Bach as “The Great Improviser” with “Bach-based Jazz.” The Digital Music Ensemble, with Christian Martjias directing, will “synthesize” Bach at 2 a.m.

Organists John Burkwall, Christopher Lees and Jeremy Tarrant will then fire up “the king of instruments” with the “Great Organ Music of Bach.”

By 4 a.m. pianist Jee-Hye Baek’s presentation of the “Goldberg Variations” is guaranteed not to put you to sleep as the work was first intended to do for Count Keyserlingk. More of organ music is on tap at 5 a.m. when Jon Jackinchuk, Mark Rich, Julie Berra and Michael Elsbend apply their hands to the keys. And at 6 a.m. pianist Logan Skelton will present piano pieces popular in Bach’s day and ours.

Students of Andrew Jenning, Stephen Shipps and Paul Kantor will be featured at 7 a.m. for the second installment of “Violin Sonatas and Partitas.” Flutes and other instruments will gather at 8 a.m. for chamber music; and pianist Louis Nagel will present an array of Bach’s works at 9 a.m.

A wind ensemble, under the direction of James Tapia, will perform at 10 a.m., followed at 11 a.m. by mezzo-soprano Freda Herseth with Bach arias, and at 11:45 a.m. by “More Bach for Burton’s Bells” by Halsted and Lan Chang. The final installment of “Violin Sonatas and Partitas” follows at noon.

Flutist Amy Porter and pianist Arthur Greene will “Illuminate Bach” at 1 p.m. followed at 2 p.m. by Yizhak Schotten, Louis Nagel, Amy Kessler and Justin Bruns with “A Concerto Hour with Orchestra: Oboe and Violin, Keyboard and the ‘New’ Viola Concerto.”

The singing instruments of the brass will be heard when tubas and euphoniums gather at 3 p.m. to play the solo cello suites. Getting “Back to Bach” at 4 p.m., cellist Erling Blondahl Bengtsson will present the original suites on the cello.

Voices and orchestra will join together in excerpts from the “St. John Passion” at 5 p.m. followed at 5:45 p.m. with Judy Ogden playing the bells of Burton Tower. A final flourish on the Hill organ will begin at 6:15 p.m. At 6:45 p.m. the University Chamber Orchestra and University Symphony Orchestra, with Kenneth Kiesler conducting, will play original orchestral music of Bach and new versions by Mahler and Broxton Blake, and Stokowski’s “Toccata and Fugue” of Fantasia movie fame, bringing the 24-hour festival to a close at 8 p.m.