Bach specialist and harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour makes his festival debut at the fourth annual Toronto Bach Festival on May 24 to 26.
The festival offers the best in baroque music as prominent Canadian artists perform favourites and lesser-known works — with three main concerts, a free lecture, and Late Night With Bach.
All events are held at St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Ave. near the Chester subway, except for the late night event at the Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave. a new Festival feature, patrons can enjoy a beer with their Bach.
Over the three days, music lovers will be treated to back-to-back Bach, from the three main categories of his work: vocal music, solo keyboard music, and instrumental music. The Festival offers two Bach concertos — an iconic Brandenburg, and another for violin — plus cantatas, rarely heard Lutheran masses, keyboard suites, solo cello pieces and new Canadian works inspired by the baroque cello.
The artists are some of Canada’s leading interpreters of baroque music. The festival’s founder and director, John Abberger, will conduct two of the concerts.
The free Lecture by is by Boston-based author and Bach authority Dr. Ellen Exner, who delivers an engaging, often witty talk on Bach and the French Style.
Montreal harpsichordist Beauséjour, artistic director of the series Clavecin en concert, appears in the opening concert and in a solo recital on Saturday afternoon. With some 35 recordings to his name, Beauséjour has performed virtually everything Bach wrote for keyboard.
Also coming from Montreal is cellist Elinor Frey, who brings elegance and the unique singing quality of her playing to the Late Night with Bach concert. Performed on a five-string instrument, her program features Bach’s sixth solo cello suite, and two recent Canadian works that explore the colors and versatility of the baroque cello: Scott Edward Godin’s “Guided by Voices” and Isaiah Ceccarelli’s “with concord of sweet sounds.”
Individual tickets to the three main concerts are $42, seniors $37, and age 30 and under $15. The Late Night with Bach concert is $20, age 30 and under $15. A three-concert festival pass is available with preferred seating and a discount of up to 42 per cent. Pass holders can add the Late Night with Bach concert for only $15; age 30 and under $5.
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