by Philip Trapp
The historic town of Portland, Maine, will be celebrating classical music this summer during its premiere Portland Bach Festival.
The festival, which runs June 19-24, will host multiple performances of various Bach cantatas, concertos and sonatas.
Lewis Kaplan, festival co-founder and artistic director, is senior professor of violin and chamber music at the Juilliard School in New York. The conductor and teacher previously headed artistic leadership for the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and wished to bring a top-level classical music celebration to Portland.
The work of revered German composer Bach serves as a fitting focus for the festivites. According to the festival’s website, Bach’s world-renowned compositions are amongst the most acclaimed of classical music worldwide:
“Musicians tend to agree: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is the greatest composer of all time. The complexity of his compositions, his prolific output (approximately 1,128 works), the range of emotions in his music, and his impact on future composers are unparalleled. His music is studied by students around the globe and celebrated by the best ensembles internationally.”
The festival will feature activities for music fans young and old. In addition to nightly concerts, other entertainment includes educational lectures, symposiums, instrument-making classes and even a “Bach and Beer” beverage tasting.
The Northeastern town has its sights on further expanding its cultural reputation. As Portland’s arts opportunities continue to grow with its population, the city’s creative authorities aim to present their locale as a prime destination for artful touristry. Festival co-founder and associate artistic director Emily Isaacson told Portland Press Herald the town’s virtues as an all-encompassing vacation destination warrants a vibrant arts scene:
“Portland has become a world-class city, and a world-class city deserves world-class art,” Isaacson said. “People are coming to our state to see the incredible landscape, to enjoy the charm of our cobblestone streets and to dine in our fabulous restaurants. We want them to come for world-class music as well.”
Whether you live in Maine or may be traveling there this summer, be sure to check out the Portland Bach Festival for a great combination of classical music and entertaining events.