Baldwin Wallace University Bach Festival

275 Eastland Road, BMAC 239
Berea, OH 44017

440-826-8070

The Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival is not only the oldest collegiate, but also the second-oldest Bach festival in the nation. The festival was founded in 1932 by Professor Albert Riemenschneider (longtime Director of the College Conservatory) and his wife, Selma. The Baldwin Wallace Festival Choir and Orchestra presented the first Bach Festival in June 1933. Since that time, Bach Festivals have been annual events at Baldwin Wallace.

Baldwin Wallace performing groups are joined by faculty members and local professional musicians in the three-day, multi-event program. Soloists are internationally known artists; the lecturers, distinguished Bach and Baroque scholars. Our students consider the unusual opportunity of participating as colleagues with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience.

Beginning with the 43rd Festival in 1975, the Baldwin Wallace Festival performing groups have been reduced to sizes now known to be more nearly commensurate with those employed in Bach's time. Likewise, from 1975 on, all vocal works have been sung in the language of their origins. These changes have made possible the cultivation of a truly Baroque sound with inherent clarity, drive, and intensity.

With a repertoire list that includes more than 300 compositions by J. S. Bach, as well as selected works from 52 other composers, the Festival rotates Bach's four major choral works on a four year cycle. In this way, Baldwin Wallace students are exposed to all four of the major Bach choral works during their college years; the B-minor Mass, the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and the Christmas Oratorio.

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