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Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 29, 2021 and Island Ad-Vantages, July 29, 2021 and The Weekly Packet, July 29, 2021
Blue Hill Bach summer festival returns in August

Blue Hill Bach

The Blue Hill Bach annual summer festival is back for its 11th season, live and in-person, beginning mid-August with a series of small-scale concerts. Pictured is the Blue Hill Bach full ensemble.

Photo courtesy of Blue Hill Bach

The Blue Hill Bach annual summer festival is back for its 11th season, live and in-person, beginning mid-August with a series of small-scale concerts.

On Wednesday, August 18, at 7:30 p.m., at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill, a program entitled “The Intimate Bach” will feature music for harpsichord, in the inaugural concert of an instrument recently donated to Blue Hill Bach. Festival Music Director John Finney will be the featured soloist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. Other music on the program will include selections from the “Notebooks for Anna Magdalena Bach,” Bach’s violin sonata in E major, performed by Jude Ziliak, and an organ prelude specially composed for the occasion by this year’s Blue Hill Bach Young Artist Fellow, Julian Bennett-Holmes, who will perform on the church’s magnificent tracker organ.

On Thursday, August 19, at 5 p.m., Blue Hill Bach will return to Atlantic Boat Company in Brooklin for “A Baroque Pick-Nick.” The boatyard’s sail loft building will be transformed into the Baroque Café, with food and beverages available for purchase. Serenading the audience will be Blue Hill Bach orchestra members, including trumpeter Josh Cohen in Mr. Handel’s Water Piece, bassoonist Andrew Schwartz and violinist YuEun Gemma Kim in concerti by Antonio Vivaldi, festival Artistic Director Stephen Hammer joining Mr. Cohen and Ms. Kim as soloists in festive selections from Georg Philipp Telemann’s Musique de table—and a surprise or two.

On Saturday, August 21, at 7:30 p.m., at Blue Hill’s First Congregational Church, the all-Bach festival finale, “Songs of Praise and Jubilation,” will showcase eight of Blue Hill Bach’s singers in the motet, Singet dem Herrn; BWV 225; Jauchzet Gott in alle Landen, BWV 51, featuring soprano Nola Richardson; and Cantata 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben.

Blue Hill Bach’s festival week offers free events for the public, including a master class in Baroque performance practice for string players on Tuesday, August 17, at 7 p.m. at the Blue Hill Congregational Church, and the popular “Bach’s Lunch,” a lecture-demonstration about the music in this year’s festival, presented by conductor John Finney and members of the ensemble, on Thursday, August 19, at 12 p.m., in collaboration with Blue Hill Co-op Café.

Blue Hill Bach will observe CDC guidelines and asks that only those who are fully vaccinated attend. All performers will be vaccinated and singers and wind players spaced at a safe distance. Programs will be recorded for release on Blue Hill Bach’s website and YouTube channel.

For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit bluehillbach.org or call 613-5454.