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Oregon Bach Festival Postponed to 2021

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Oregon Bach Festival Postponed to 2021

Oregon Bach Festival has released the following statement:

I am writing to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to postpone both the 2020 Oregon Bach Festival and the selection of our new Artistic Director until the summer of 2021, with the health and safety of our patrons, musicians and community foremost in our minds.

I know that this is disappointing news. The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken so much from our communities - people we love, family livelihoods, and our sense of security. It hurts that it has also put many of the communal and cultural activities that we cherish on hold, from sporting events to religious gatherings, or even a simple outing to the museum.

We were all looking forward to coming together this summer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Bach Festival. We were especially excited to experience the unique voice and vision from three talented finalists for our Artistic Director position - world-renowned maestros Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Eric Jacobsen and Julian Wachner - as they conducted Bach's great choral-orchestral masterworks and performed hand-picked repertoires designed to showcase their distinctive and special musical gifts.

As a part of our decision making, we consulted with many stakeholders, including the finalists for our Artistic Director position. The conversations we've had with each of them have been yet another confirmation of the high-caliber of our candidates as musicians, leaders, and exemplary individuals. They all expressed empathy and understanding about our decision, as well as strong interest in continuing as candidates and returning as guest conductors for our rescheduled 50th anniversary season in 2021.

In these trying times, I've found solace in an old saying: "Joy shared is a joy doubled. Sorrow shared is a sorrow halved." We've all been finding new ways to connect in this unprecedented era of social distancing. In the weeks and months to come, we'll be announcing a variety of ways that you'll be able to enjoy the rich musical legacy of the Oregon Bach Festival from the comfort of your own home. One initiative we're particularly excited to share is a series of "Oregon Bach Festival Radio" shows that will be broadcast on KWAX-FM Classical Oregon and live-streamed at with hosts Peter van de Graaff and Rocky Lamanna. Every episode will feature a selection of the most memorable performances from the Festival's last half-century of award-winning music, with a new broadcast for you to listen to every weekday during the dates when the Festival would have been held this summer.

As we look forward to our 50th anniversary season in 2021, I'm encouraged by two thoughts. Challenging times don't last forever and the spirit of Bach's incomparable music endures. We will all get the opportunity to celebrate the Oregon Bach Festival's 50th anniversary, and Royce and Helmuth's legacy together. It just won't be when we were expecting to. In the meantime, I hope that you and your family stay well, and that you'll find comfort with me in the thought that sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for.


Sabrina Madison-Cannon

Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean

University of Oregon School of Music & Dance


Arts Orgs

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