BACH IS BACK: 2nd Annual Toronto Bach Festival

2nd Annual Toronto Bach Festival: May 26 – 28, 2017
Toronto (Canada) February 9, 2017…

Artistic Director John Abberger is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Toronto Bach Festival is taking place May 26, 27 and 28, 2017 in Toronto.

The Festival offers single performances of three unique baroque programs, featuring over 30 renowned baroque and classical artists including Brett Polegato, Christopher Bagan, Daniel Taylor, Alison Melville and Ellen McAteer.

CANTATAS & BRANDENBURGS opens the 2017 Festival on May 26 at 8pm, with a pairing of two remarkable early cantatas and two of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich is thought to be the earliest surviving cantata that Bach wrote, and Komm, du süsse Todesstude was written during the composer’s time in Weimar. These magical works are complemented by two joyous concertos: the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, and the Oboe Concerto in E-flat.

Returning to the Toronto Bach Festival for the second year, soprano Ellen McAteer has been praised for her “sparkling agility” (Toronto Star). Ms. McAteer is joined by alto Rebecca Claborn, renowned for her “mellifluous yet clear” (Music in Victoria) singing, and six period instrumentalists, including Abberger as oboe soloist, and Patrick Jordan and Brandon Chui as viola soloists.

On May 27 at 2:30pm, harpsichordist Christopher Bagan (University of Toronto, Canadian Opera Company and Opera Atelier) presents a dazzling HARPSICHORD RECITAL of early keyboard works. This showcase will explore the programmatic sonata, fashionable in Leipzig in the early 18th century, and pairs Kuhnau’s Jacob’s Wedding with Bach’s Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother. The performance will also feature Bach’s Six Little Preludes from the year 1717, and the magnificent Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue.

Ellen McAteer returns with vocal soloists including Daniel Taylor, Brett Polegato, Agnes Zsigovics and newcomer Asitha Tennekoon, for a rare performance of ST. MARK PASSION on May 28 at 3:30pm. Only two of Bach’s five passions survived, and this year’s Toronto Bach Festival closes with the presentation of a stunning reconstruction by Simon Heighes. Based on the surviving libretto by Picander, the librettist for the St. Matthew Passion, and fashioned from arias and choruses from Bach’s own works, a vocal ensemble of nine singers together with an intimate instrumental ensemble will present this work as it would have been performed by Bach. This year’s final performance also features the talents of twelve period instrumentalists, including Abberger, Bagan, Julia Wedman, Felix Deak and Matthew Girolami, as well as Alison Melville and Anthea Conway-White (flute), and Joëlle Morton and Marilyn Fung (viola da gamba).

Canadian Daniel Taylor is one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world. Recently moving from Montreal to Toronto, Mr. Taylor is the new Head of Historical Performance in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.

Toronto Bach Festival 2017 performances take place at St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Avenue, Toronto.

Festival passes and single tickets are available for advance purchase at, and may also be purchased at the door before each performance.

Information: (416) 466-8241

LISTING INFORMATION: Toronto Bach Festival presents

CANTATAS AND BRANDENBURGS Directed by John Abberger with Ellen McAteer and Rebecca Claborn. Friday, May 26, 2017 at 8pm Venue: St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Avenue, Toronto Program: J.S. Bach Cantata, BWV 161 “Komm du süsse Todesstunde” J.S. Bach Cantata, BWV 150 “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich” J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051 J.S. Bach Oboe Concerto in E-flat, BWV 1053a

HARPSICHORD RECITAL Featuring Christopher Bagan Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 2:30pm Venue: St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Avenue, Toronto Program: J.S. Bach Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother, BWV 992 Johann Kuhnau Jacob’s Wedding J.S. Bach Six Little Preludes, BMV 933-938 J.S. Bach Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 903

ST. MARK PASSION BWV 247 (reconstruction by Simon Heighes) Directed by John Abberger, with Ellen McAteer, Agnes Zsigovics, Daniel Taylor, Asitha Tennekoon, Brett Polegato, Alison Melville, Anthea Conway-White, John Abberger, Marco Cera, Joëlle Morton, Marilyn Fung, Julia Wedman, Emily Eng, Matt Antal, Felix Deak, Matthew Girolami, and Christopher Bagan. Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 3:30pm Venue: St. Barnabas-on-the-Danforth, 361 Danforth Avenue, Toronto 2017

Individual Ticket Pricing: Regular: $30 Senior (65+): $25 Student: $15 3-concert Festival Passes: Regular: $80 Senior (65+): $70 Student: $40 Box Office: Advance Regular and Senior tickets and passes Ticket and passes, including student tickets and passes may also be purchased at the door Information: (416) 466-8241

ABOUT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JOHN ABBERGER One of North America’s leading performers on historical oboes, John is principal oboist with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and the American Bach Soloists (San Francisco). He has performed extensively in North America, Europe and Asia with these ensembles, and appears regularly with other prominent period-instrument ensembles, including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Voltaire, Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Baroque. His recording of the Concerto for Oboe by Alessandro Marcello with Tafelmusik was glowingly reviewed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best there is” and “alone worth the price of the disc, even if you have other versions.” In addition to many recordings with Tafelmusik and other period-instrument ensembles, he has produced and recorded two discs of concertos and suites by J.S. Bach. Released on the Analekta label, the recordings have received much critical acclaim, including CD of the Month by the German magazine Toccata/Alte Musik Actuell for the recording of orchestral suites. John serves on the faculty at the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould Studio at the Royal Conservatory of Music and has taught at the City College of New York. A native of Orlando, Florida, he received his training at the Juilliard School and Louisiana State University. In addition, he holds a Performers Certificate in Early Music from New York University.


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1 Response to BACH IS BACK: 2nd Annual Toronto Bach Festival

  1. Pingback: A Bach Tapestry | barczablog

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