WHO: Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, John V. Sinclair, conductor
WHAT: 86th Annual Bach Festival
WHEN: Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 28. Dates and times vary.
WHERE: Knowles Memorial Chapel, Central Park Main Stage, Bach at Home
TICKETS: Ticket prices vary, free programs offered.
INFO: BachFestivalFlorida.org

WINTER PARK, FL (Jan. 19, 2021) — The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park will present its 86th Annual Bach Festival from February 12 through February 28. Following a successful first half of its 86th season, the Bach Festival Society will continue to offer a variety of safe and socially distanced events in Knowles Memorial Chapel, outside in Winter Park’s Central Park, and digitally for select concerts via Bach at Home. The 86th Annual Bach Festival includes music by several renowned composers, including the festival’s namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; William Grant Still; Rollins alumnus John Maclane Schirard; and many more. Tickets and the most up-to-date programming information can be obtained at BachFestivalFlorida.org or 407-646-2182, with tickets going on sale beginning Wednesday, January 20.

This year’s Festival kicks off with an organ recital provided at no cost to patrons and funded by the Faith Emeny Conger ’54 Visiting Organist Concert Series at Rollins College in Honor of John Oliver Rich ’38. Organist Colin MacKnight, who holds multiple degrees from The Juilliard School and is the Associate Organist and Choirmaster at Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York, will perform in Knowles Memorial Chapel on Friday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. The performance will also be available digitally from Bach at Home.

Spiritual Spaces: Peace and Serenity on Saturday, February 13 at 5:00 p.m., featuring various works to soothe the soul and inspire reflection, will be performed in Knowles Memorial Chapel by the Bach Festival Orchestra and conducted by John V. Sinclair. The program features a variety of works from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras, as well as contemporary pieces. Among the composers featured is an arrangement of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” by John Maclane Schirard, two pieces by William Grant Still, and an inspiring arrangement by our own John V. Sinclair. The performance will also be available digitally from Bach at Home.

This season’s annual Concertos by Candlelight: Classical Gems in a candlelit Knowles Memorial Chapel will feature works by Mozart, Donizetti, Salieri, and Pleyel, performed by the Bach Festival Orchestra and conducted by John V. Sinclair. Nora Lee Garcia (flute), Lora MacPherson (English horn), and Kathy Thomas (horn) are the soloists for this elegant program on Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. This performance will also be available digitally from Bach at Home.

The Festival’s namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach, will have works featured in two prominent programs at this year’s Annual Bach Festival. The first program presents Bach’s Peasant and Farewell Cantatas on Sunday, February 21 at 3:00 p.m. in Knowles Memorial Chapel. One of only two cantatas Bach wrote in Italian, Farewell Cantata will feature soprano Mary Wilson. The Peasant Cantata features both soprano Mary Wilson and baritone Brandon Hendricks. The program will be performed by members of the Bach Festival Orchestra and conducted by John V. Sinclair. The second Bach program is Big Band Bach: Back Again, an outdoor performance of Bach’s beloved works arranged for big band orchestration by Chuck Archard, Rollins music professor, and performed at Central Park’s main stage on Saturday, February 27 at 2:00 p.m.

The festival’s most unique program, MMM…Mozart, Mendelssohn, and McCartney, introduces symphonies written by three worthy composers who are rarely performed together. It is a compelling program presented by the Bach Festival Orchestra, offered at one performance only on Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Knowles Memorial Chapel. This performance will also be available from Bach at Home.

Bach Festival Brass: Baroque and Beyond on Sunday, February 28 at 3:00 p.m. will feature eight members of the Bach Festival Orchestra conducted by John V. Sinclair performing a beautiful Baroque repertoire on the main stage in Winter Park’s Central Park.

The Bach Festival Society continues to take COVID-19 precautions very seriously. The pandemic has impacted not only the number of people able to safely attend performances, but also which works are chosen and how they are performed. Programming in Knowles Memorial Chapel will not exceed a total of 125 in attendance, including artists, audience, volunteers, and staff. Outdoor performances in Central Park will require reservations to ensure social distancing. All performances, regardless of location, will require temperature checks to enter, frequent sanitization of high-touch surfaces, and the wearing of masks indoors.

Bach at Home, the Bach Festival Society’s digital concert offering, continues to be available for patrons unable to attend the performances in person. Annual Festival events held indoors at Knowles Memorial Chapel will be available for viewing approximately one week after each performance. For details on these and other Bach at Home performances, please visit BachFestivalFlorida.org/bachathome.


The Winter Park Bach Festival has been a Central Florida music tradition since it was founded in 1935. Each spring, the Bach Festival Choir, Orchestra, and guest artists fill Winter Park with choral, orchestral, and chamber music for three weeks. Patrons travel from across the country and around the world to enjoy beautiful music in a remarkably beautiful setting on the campus of Rollins College. More information about the festival can be found at BachFestivalFlorida.com/Festival.


About the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

Founded in 1935 in Winter Park, Florida, the Bach Festival Society is one of the longest continuously operating Bach Festivals in the country and is well ranked among America’s great oratorio societies. The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra bring the highest caliber of classical music to Central Florida in the intimate settings of Tiedtke Concert Hall and Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins College campus for the Society’s Annual Bach Festival, Choral Masterworks, and Visiting Artists performances. It presents a variety of educational and community outreach programs year-round. More information is available at BachFestivalFlorida.org.

The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is supported in part by numerous individual donors; the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation; the Jessie Ball duPont Fund; the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation; Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program; United Arts of Central Florida, host of OrlandoAtPlay.com and UAArtsEd.com; and by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook and Instagram: @BachFestivalWP
PHOTOS: http://BachFestivalFlorida.org/press

Brian Solomon