Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meet Bachtoberfest's Cornucopia of Keyboardists

Bachtoberfest, the fall fundraiser for the Chicago area’s Bach Week Festival, will offer something unusual this year: music of J. S. Bach played on a “Cornucopia of Keyboards” — bayan, harmonium, harpsichord, duo pianos, and organ.

“Guests will have the rare experience of hearing Bach’s music performed on five distinctly different keyboard instruments all in one evening,” noted festival co-founder and music director Richard Webster.

Bachtoberfest keyboard performances will include Stanislav “Stas” Venglevski playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, on bayan, a Russian-style concert accordion; Gregory Ceurvorst, playing the Sinfonia No. 11 in G minor, BWV 797, on harmonium; Jason Moy playing three selections from the English Suite in D minor, BWV 811, on harpsichord; Mark George and Fiona Queen playing “Sheep May Safely Graze,” from Cantata 208, on pianos; and Webster playing the Fugue in G Major (Gigue), BWV 577, on organ.

The event runs from  from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 7, at Nichols Concert Hall of the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. The relatively early starting time is to accommodate those planning to attend Music of the Baroque's subscription concert that evening in Skokie.

General admission tickets to “Bachtoberfest: A Cornucopia of Keyboards” are $50 per person, which includes the concert, German buffet, and one beverage. Patron tickets at $100 each include two beverages; Champion tickets at $150 each include three beverages.

Tickets are available online at and also by phone, (847) 293-6686.

Proceeds will support the 40th annual Bach Week Festival in spring 2013 (April 19 and 21 in Evanston and May 5 in Chicago).

A selection of German wines and beers will be served, complementing a Bachtoberfest buffet of German meats, cheeses, potato salad and breads. Desserts will include Black Forest cake and apple strudel.

Silent auction items will include vacation home getaways; beauty, wellness, and spa packages; subscription concert tickets; original art; consumer electronics; and more. A unique offering is a private, guided tour of historic Trinity Church on Boston’s Copley Square, followed by dinner in Boston, with Webster, Bach Week’s music director, who is also music director at Trinity Church.

Members of the Bach Week Festival’s Bachtoberfest planning committee are Christopher Plotner of Chicago; Merlin Lehman of Deerfield; and Naida Lodgaard and Dorothy Scott of Evanston.