International Bach Festival
no-image, International Bach Festival
Launched in Swidnica in 2000 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, the International Bach Festival has been partly inspired by the history and rich music tradition of the town's Church of Peace.
Launched in Swidnica in 2000 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, the International Bach Festival has been partly inspired by the history and rich music tradition of the town's Church of Peace. The appointment of Gottlob Wecker, Bach's student, as the Church's cantor-organist in 1729 sparked off true veneration of the Baroque's great master and introduced high music standards in Swidnica, a town which remains Poland's only one with such close links to Bach.
The Festival concerts feature almost exclusively music composed by Bach or directly related to his person and the age in which he lived and worked. The audience of the first two editions of the Festival could hear Bach's flute sonatas, harpsichord pieces, KlavierbÜchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach, cantatas and Passion according to St Matthew as well as works by Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann and Georg Friedrich Händel, including his Messiah oratorio. The Festival has hosted a number of outstanding artists from Poland and abroad, including the singers Anna Mikolajczyk, Mark Padmore, Simone Kermes, Ewa Wojtowicz, Maciej Gallas and Mariusz Godlewski, flutist Magdalena Szlachta, harpsichordists Marek Pilch, Natalia Sitarz and Aleksandra Rupocinska, oboist Wolfgang Kube, organists Marcin Szelest, Liuwe Tamming, Konrad Kat, musicians playing historic trumpets: Crispian Steele-Perkins, Igor Cecocho and Slawomir Cichor, trombonists Ole-Kristian Andersen, Charles Toet and Wim Becu, violists Zbigniew Pilch and Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen as well as cornetto players Bruce Dickey and Doran David Sherwin. All of the musicians played historic instruments. The audience could also hear groups and orchestras such as Cantores Viridimontani under Jerzy Markiewicz, Christian Gottlob Wecker Ensemble under Jan Tomasz Adamus, Collegium Angelorum under Rafael Gabriel Przybyla, Marcin Szelest's Harmonia Sacra, Concerto Palatino, The Harp Consort, The Hilliard Ensemble, Ensemble Christophorus oraz Dolnoslaska Orkiestra Barokowa, Dolnoslaski Chór Kameralny and Orkiestra Liryczna under Jan Tomasz Adamus.
The International Bach Festival is accompanied by master courses; they were offered in three instruments in the 2000 edition: the organ, led by Liuwe Tamming from Bologne, the trumpet and historic trumpet, led by Crispian Steele-Perkins from London, and recorders, led by Tomasz Dobrzanski from Wroclaw. The latest, 2006 edition of the Festival offered a singing course with Bozena Harasimowicz, a Baroque violin and viola course with Zbigniew Pilch and a harpsichord course with Aapo Häkkinen. The lectures were combined with concerts, a visit to the historical organ in Krzeszow and presentations of instruments from the course-masters' private collections and from the collection of Joachim Rohmer, the Celle-based maker of recorders.
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Polish Composers' Union
updated by: Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska
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