Type of Document Dissertation Author Aspaas, Christopher Paul URN etd-08202004-153012 Title A History of the Oregon Bach Festival Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Music, School of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Andre Thomas Committee Chair Judy Bowers Committee Member Kevin Fenton Committee Member Kimberly VanWeelden Committee Member Richard Morris Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2004-07-23 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe Oregon Bach Festival completed its thirty-fifth season of performances in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday, July 11, 2004. Beginning as a summer school program organized by Royce Saltzman in 1970 at the University of Oregon, the Festivalís first season concluded in one concert of German choral music conducted by Helmuth Rilling in addition to a solo organ recital performed by the conductor. Since its inception, the Oregon Bach Festival has involved more than 500,000 concertgoers, 1,000 conducting master class students, 500 Youth Choral Academy singers and hundreds of choral and orchestral musicians.
In spite of its name, the Oregon Bach Festival has strongly supported the commissioning and premiere of new works. The Festival has premiered eight commissioned works and provided the venue for the World, United States and West Coast premieres of many others. The Festival has also embraced international collaborations, bringing guest artists, ensembles and choirs from around the world to perform in Eugene.
Great concern about the future of the Oregon Bach Festival exists since the co-founders, Saltzman and Rilling recently celebrated their 75th and 71st birthdays respectively. Saltzmanís initial attempt at retirement from the Festival failed in 1997 after two seasons under new leadership, which has reinforced the belief that Saltzman and Rilling may be the only individuals who can successfully operate the Oregon Bach Festival.
This dissertation includes examinations of the founding and initial development of the Oregon Bach Festival, the many component parts of the Festival, the people who support and operate the Festival, the programming and literature performed and the commissions and special projects sponsored by the Festival. Additionally, this project concludes with an examination of the philosophy of the Festival as well as concerns for the future.
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