Fundraiser to Feature Expert Pairings
of Classical Music and Wines
Black Oak Ensemble to Perform
|Black Oak Ensemble|
Proceeds from the Bachanalia, hosted by the festival board, will support the spring 2019 Bach Week Festival, its 46th annual edition.
The event’s title combines the last name of German Baroque composer J. S. Bach and “bacchanalia,” the ancient Roman festival of entertainment and revelry named for Bacchus, Roman god of wine.
“Spirits will be high,” says Richard Webster, Bach Week’s longtime music director and emcee for the Bachanalia.
Black Oak Ensemble members are violinist Desirée Ruhstrat, violist Aurelien Pederzoli, and cellist David Cunliffe. Ruhstrat and Cunliffe are Grammy-nominated artists. The North Shore-based ensemble has performed throughout the U.S., including appearances at the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Latino Music Festival, Mayne Stage, WFMT Radio, and the Grand Rapids Museum of Art.
Mike Baker, an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and lead buyer for Vin Chicago, consults with the musicians and selects wines that echo the personalities of the musical works to be performed. Baker also listens to recordings and researches the music before making his wine choices.
Baker will discuss each wine before it's poured for guests, followed by a performance of the musical work the wine was selected to complement.
Hearty hors d'oeuvres will be available throughout the event.
A silent auction will feature items of interest to music, art, theater, ballet, and restaurant aficionados, as well as offering boutique children’s clothing and toys, among other attractions. All are donated by local businesses, performing arts organizations, and individual artists.
Benefit planning committee members include Evanston residents Michael Coleman, Cynthia Kirk, Melissa Trier Kirk, Judith Kulb, Laura Kulb, Naida Lodgaard, Mary Mumbrue, and Dorothy Scott.
Tickets and Information
Tickets for Bach Week’s Bachanalia benefit are $60 per person and are available online at bachweek.org and by phone, (800) 838-3006. For additional information, phone the festival’s office at 847-269-9050.
Marathon Run for Funds
On the morning of the benefit, Bach Week’s Webster will run in the Chicago Marathon to raise funds for the annual spring music festival. Webster has led Bach Week since 1975 and performed in and helped organize the 1974 inaugural festival in Evanston. He is currently director of music and organist at Boston's historic Trinity Church on Copley Square. Donations for Webster’s run can be made online at crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/richard-runs-for-bachweek.
Bach Week Festival’s 2019 concerts will take place April 26 and 28 at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston and May 3 at Anderson Chapel at North Park University, Chicago. The festival is a collaboration between Bach Week and North Park’s School of Music, Art, and Theatre.
Among the featured performers will be international concert pianist Sergei Babayan, recently signed to an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon following his critically acclaimed recordings on the label with celebrated pianists Martha Argerich and Daniil Trifonov, Babayan’s superstar pupil. Gramophone magazine calls Babayan “an imaginative artist” with “a reputation among connoisseurs.”
Complete festival details will be posted at bachweek.org.
A musical rite of spring on the North Shore, Bach Week is one of the Midwest’s premiere Baroque music festivals. The event enlists musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, and other top-tier ensembles, while featuring some of the Chicago area’s finest instrumental and vocal soloists and distinguished guest artists from out of town.