Festival to lure Bach lovers to Turkish capital
İzmİr Barok Ensemble. Memory of the great German composer Johann Sebastian Bach will be celebrated during Bachfest Ankara.Starting this year, the Turkish capital Ankara will host its own Bach Festival, part of a classical music festival held in locations throughout the world to celebrate the memory of the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
The Bachfest Ankara came about as the initiative of Bach specialists Sami Yenice, Bilge Küçükdoğan and Hasan Keleşoğlu. The event will feature the work of the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach in a series of events throughout the year. His pieces, among the finest examples of the Baroque style, will be performed by high-profile world musicians and performers.
The first concert is scheduled on Jan. 14 on the Middle East Technical University (METU) KKM stage, where one of the world’s best sopranos Emma Kirkby will perform the works of Bach and other baroque composers including Lully, Frescobaldi, Gervaise, Purcell and Greene.
Kirkby will be accompanied on stage by Izmir Barok Ensemble, Turkey’s first ensemble performing baroque music with period instruments, and Austrian-born Ingrid Seifert, the first violinist of the London Baroque Ensemble.
Next up in the festival lineup is Concerto Melante on Feb. 9. Founded by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members specialized in period instruments, the group will perform Bach’s Musicalisches Opfer (Musical Offering).
Other musicians to perform at Bachfest Ankara include world-famous gambist Hille Perl, and British harpist Catrin Finch. Perl will perform Bach’s Viola de Gamba sonatas on March 16, and Finch will give life to Bach’s Goldberg Variations on May 24.
Ensemble Flautino of Sweden, German-born classical cellist Jan Vogler, Russian Bach Consort, Istanbul-based Alla Turca Kollektif, and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra are also set to perform throughout the year-long festival.
Organized around the world
The Bach Festival is organized in various locations throughout the world. The festival’s mission is to celebrate the works, inspiration and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach worldwide by immersing audiences in a festival experience integrating music, education and ideas.
The notable Bach festivals in the world include Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, organized by the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park in Florida, and the Bachfest Bolivia, celebrated yearly in Cochabamba each March since 2008. Bachfest Bolivia commemorates Bach’s birthday.