It’s time to get back to Bach! Every year, Carmel has one of the most delightful classical music celebrations: the Carmel Bach Festival (CBF). This year the music begins on July 16, at the fabulous Sunset Center Theater. Carmel’s Centennial will be celebrated to the orchestrations of Bach and Handel by the Sea. This opening night gala has tickets on sale for between $66-$89, but by no means is it the only event in this multiday musical journey.

Though this long-running festival – over 80 years at this point –was shortened to two weeks in 2009, the organization’s mission has remained steadfast and inspirational:

“To celebrate the works, inspiration, and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach worldwide by immersing audiences in a festival experience integrating music, education and ideas, and by meaningful community engagement throughout the year.”

So year ‘round, but especially for two inspiring weeks in July, CBF delivers. They provide a musical environment and ‘context’, under the leadership and direction of Music Director and Conductor Paul Goodwin, and Executive Director Debbie Chinn. Their “innovative artistic programming” bridges all concerts, off-season and on, and it expands access outside Carmel and the Peninsula. The folks at CBF seek to transcend “traditional boundaries” and enrich our lives.

This year’s festival is chock full of events. To get the full picture, we suggest you review their calendar. Here are just a few entries to get you thinking about how you can spend quality time with your senses this July:

  • Potentially, one of the more ‘fun’ pre-festival events is Happy Hour Bach! This year it takes place at the Monterey Museum of Art, on July 16, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are only $45. You’ll experience Piazzola, Purcell, Bertali, Lully, and Kreisler; and enjoy a wine and cheese reception later on.
  • July 16 features the official Opening Gala, as already mentioned.
  • You can ‘walk’­ the Streets of Madrid on Friday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m. For $30-35, at the All Saints Church, enjoy Mozart and Boccherini.
  • On July 27 you will find Immortal Bach. For $70-$85, at the Carmel Mission Basilica, indulge your senses as Conductor Andrew Megill, along with orchestra, chorale, and chorus take you on a journey.
  • Would you like to have Coffee with Bach? Can do, the morning of July 30. Later on, in the early evening, get in on the closing night’s Best of the Fest, once again at the Sunset Center Theatre. Tickets for that start at $98.

So a jam-packed full list of events, much more than we could fit into one post, await you at this year’s Carmel Bach Festival. Click on any of the links you see in this article, or for their main website, please click this link.  (Note: at the time of this writing the Bach Festival website had not updated their security certificate which results in warnings when visitors try to access the site.)

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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