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WQXR Features

WQXR to Present 'Bach 360' Festival

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Get ready to Bach around the clock.

WQXR will be presenting over 200 hours of the music of J.S. Bach, from March 21 (the composer's birthday) through March 31 (Easter Sunday).

The festival will last 10 days and will cover every single piece by the composer – from the beloved Brandenburg concertos to the sublimely beautiful passions and the intricate fugues — in a range of styles, including live recordings, classic interpretations, period-instrument performances, modern transcriptions and orchestrations, among others. 

The music will be peppered with expert commentary, daily themes (“Bach in Leipzig,” “Bach on Keyboard”), biographical details, and insights by musicians, scholars and writers, such as Paul Elie, author of Reinventing Bach; Christoph Wolff, the leading Bach scholar in the United States; and Oliver Sacks, neuroscientist and author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.

  Bach 360 will also feature two live events in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR:

  • On Saturday, March 23 from 7-11pm, WQXR presents "Bach Lounge," an evening dedicated to cross-genre re-imaginings of the master’s work. Guests will include pianist Ethan Iverson, jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, singer/composer Gabriel Kahane, violinist Jennifer Koh, cellist Jan Vogler, pianist Benjamin Hochman, early music performance from Julliard 415, and other artists will perform the Bach works which most speak to them.
  • On Wednesday, March 28, at 12 noon, Simone Dinnerstein will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations in her first New York performance of the complete work since 2009.* will be the place for listeners to share their reactions and stories about Bach's music.

A special edition of WQXR’s classical music industry podcast, Conducting Business will convene a roundtable of experts on the longstanding debate around whether Bach should only be played “authentic” using the instruments and style of his day, or whether the work is open to modern interpretations and reworkings.

There will be a "Bach Café," a series of videos of notable performers playing Bach at WQXR’s intimate café. And for those looking to add some movement to their listening experience, will program a special Bach yoga playlist specifically for instructors to use in their classes. The track listing will be published on as well.

Finally, will offer a free download from a new Bach recording each day of the festival. Up first will be a reissue of a classic Pablo Casals version of Cello Suite No. 1.


* Simone Dinnerstein's free concert is made possible by support from The North Highland Company, a global consulting company.