by Allan Kozinn
If you know the violinist Lewis Kaplan, you probably also expected that when he gave up the directorship of the Bowdoin International Music Festival after leading it for half a century, he would be back with something else soon. And indeed, the enterprising octogenarian began pulling together ideas for his next project as soon as he announced his retirement. That project, the Portland Bach Festival, opened its inaugural season Sunday evening at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary in Falmouth with a robust program that touched on Bach’s organ music, solo instrumental works, concertos and cantatas.
Kaplan’s plan has a lot going for it. As a summer resident of Maine since 1964, when he co-founded the Bowdoin festival, a winter resident of New York, where he teaches at the Juilliard School and Mannes College the New School for Music, and a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music in London, Kaplan has both a love for the area and solid contacts in the international musical world. With Emily Isaacson, the director of the Oratorio Chorale, as his associate artistic director, he has further links to Portland’s musical life. Between them, they’ve put together a board to raise the money to support such a venture. [Read more…] about Portland Bach Festival off to a promising start