CORONAVIRUS: Concerts, Updates, Schedules and A Moment of Comfort


Our 113th Festival has been canceled, May 2020


With an immeasurable amount of sadness, but an abundance of caution, we announce that The 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival, a tradition that has continued largely uninterrupted since 1898, will not take place this year.

As we have all experienced, music is a transformative experience. The bonds it creates, the memories it evokes, the traditions it builds: each one remarkable and treasured. While we are unable to share these experiences with our Festival audience this season, we look forward to the days when we will once again forge connections through music and embark on those beautiful journeys together.

Although our Season was disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, we are re-scheduling some of our canceled concerts and adding them to our next season (some dates to come), including:

  • Handel’s Messiah, Part Two and additional repertoire will be presented at our Spring Concert on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
  • The Chaconne Project, featuring the music of young composers, based on Bach’s Chaconne. This will feature our  Artist-in-Residence, guitarist Eliot Fisk, and will be scheduled at our 2021 Festival, as part of our Ifor Jones Chamber Music Concert.  There will be one performance only on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
  • Young American Singers Competition Finals will be held in the fall of 2020.

We are in the process of updating our Festival performances to reflect our 2021 Bethlehem Bach Festival. Please see the concerts listed below or check back regularly for updates as they become confirmed. 


Ticket buyers may choose to donate the value of their 2020 ticket(s) as a tax-deductible contribution, which would be greatly appreciated at this time. A portion of your contribution will help The Choir give some support to members of The Bach Festival Orchestra for their loss of income.

You may also request a voucher good toward future concerts by The Bach Choir through the 2020-2021 season.

CLICK HERE to DONATE or VOUCHER your ticket(s)

Please contact Renée James, Marketing Director, with any questions about making ticket donations or requesting vouchers: 610-866-4382 x 115  or


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Information about our 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival will continue to be updated as needed.  We welcome you to the heart of our season and hope the glorious music offers you joy, comfort, inspiration and peace as only the music of J.S. Bach can.


Voices from the Choir…
Click here for a clip of rehearsal and some thoughts from two Choir members about the 2018 Bethlehem Bach Festival.

Our largest event of the year takes place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on the campus of Lehigh University and on the historic grounds of the Moravian community. Glorious tradition, spirited performances, festival premieres…music for you. It’s our distinct pleasure to welcome so many of you to Bethlehem every year!

Our 112th Bethlehem Bach Festival in 2019 was – as  ever – a time of reunions, annual renewal and contemplation and sharing this exquisite music as a community. Please make your plans – and your reservations! – now and be part of this community in 2020, sharing your passion for Bach and celebrating this uplifting season.

“It’s not only the history of the Festival but the personal history that so many of the performers and members of the audience have with it that gives the weekend a very wonderful and sentimental atmosphere.”

— Karen B., longtime Festival attendee

Festival Soloists

Sherezade Panthaki, Soprano

Meg Bragle, Alto

Rosa Lamoreaux, Soprano

Isaiah Bell, Tenor

Daniel Taylor, Countertenor

Benjamin Butterfield, Tenor

William Sharp, Baritone

Dashon Burton, Bass



Festival Artists-in-Residence 2021

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Performance at the 2021 Festival:
Ifor Jones Chamber Music Concert, Saturday May 15 ONLY

Opus Number:  88
Music:  Johann Sebastian Bach  “Beauty is the only word for Brandenburgs…[which] celebrates the good things in life. Such a radiant, seamless flow of invention that the choreography seems an entirely natural way of moving to this music.” – Mary Clarke, Manchester [UK] Guardian

Opus Number:  61
Music:  Johann Sebastian Bach
“The dancers, crashing wave upon wave into those falls, have a happy insane spirit that recalls a unique moment in American life – the time we did the school play or we were ready to drown at a swimming meet. The last time most of us were happy in that way.” – Arlene Croce, The New Yorker

The genesis of the Paul Taylor Dance Company occurred on May 30, 1954 in Manhattan, when dancemaker Paul Taylor first presented his choreography with five other dancers on the Lower East Side. That performance marked the beginning of 64 years of unrivaled creativity, and in the decades that followed, Mr. Taylor became a cultural icon and one of American history’s most celebrated artists, and was part of the pantheon that created American modern dance. Leading the Company that bears his name until his death in 2018, Mr. Taylor molded it into one of the preeminent performing ensembles in the world. Under the artistic direction of Taylor dancer Michael Novak since September 2018, the Company continues to perform throughout the world as well as at its New York City home – Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – where it appears under the aegis of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. The Taylor Company has traveled the globe many times over, bringing Mr. Taylor’s unrivaled repertoire to theaters in cultural capitals, on college campuses and in rural communities – and often to places modern dance had never been seen before. It has performed in more than 500 cities in 64 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State. In 1997 the Company toured throughout India in celebration of that nation’s 50th Anniversary. In the summer of 2001 the Company toured in the People’s Republic of China and performed in six cities, four of which had never seen American modern dance before; the 2018 tour of China was the Company’s sixth tour of that nation. While continuing to garner international acclaim, the Paul Taylor Dance Company performs more than half of each touring season in cities throughout the United States. In celebration of the Company’s 50th Anniversary and 50 years of creativity, the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation presented Mr. Taylor’s works in all 50 States between March 2004 and November 2005. That tour underscored the Taylor Company’s historic role as one of the early touring companies of American modern dance. Beginning with its first television appearance for the Dance in America series in 1978, the Paul Taylor Dance Company has appeared on PBS in ten different programs. Among these were the 1992 Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues, and The Wrecker’s Ball, which included Company B, Funny Papers, and A Field of Grass and was nominated for an Emmy in 1997. In 1999 the PBS American Masters series aired Dancemaker, the Academy Award-nominated documentary about Mr. Taylor and his Company. In 2013, PBS aired Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris, featuring Brandenburgs and Beloved Renegade. The 2014 documentary Paul Taylor Creative Domain won critical and public acclaim for its examination of Mr. Taylor’s creative process, as it followed the famously private choreographer and his Company through the entire process of creating a work from initial concept to opening night. In 2019 the Paul Taylor Dance Company launched “Paul Taylor: Celebrate the Dancemaker,” a multi-year, international celebration of Mr. Taylor’s legacy and vision for the future of modern dance. The celebration will feature many of the choreographer’s greatest works, and will, according to Mr. Novak, “create an unprecedented opportunity for audiences to connect with Mr. Taylor’s history and the history of modern dance.”


Eliot Fisk, Guitarist:

Performance at the 2021 Festival:
Ifor Jones Chamber Music Concert, Saturday May 22 ONLY

Concerto in E Major for Guitar and Orchestra by Luigi Boccherini
Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 5 in C Major, BWV 529 with Charlotte Mattax Moersch

Guitarist Eliot Fisk is known worldwide as a charismatic performer famed for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire. After nearly 50 years before the public he remains as his mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”  In the 2017-18 season Fisk performed his transcriptions of all six Bach solo cello Suites.

He has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arte Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and many others. He returns regularly to major concert series such as Stanford Lively Arts, Spivey Hall (Atlanta), Duke University Performances, Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver; Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the 92nd Street Y in NYC, Da Camera Society of Houston, Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, San Francisco Chamber Music; Segovia Series at Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern University and many others overseas.

The repertoire of the classical guitar has been transformed through Fisk’s innumerable transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Granados, Albeniz and many others). Eliot Fisk was the last direct pupil of Andres Segovia and also studied interpretation with the legendary harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick at Yale University.  Directly following his own graduation in 1977, he founded the guitar department at the Yale School of Music.

Eliot Fisk is Professor at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in 5 languages.  He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Boston GuitarFest ( an annual cross-disciplinary event co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University.  In 2017 he created and served as Artistic Director of the first ever and immensely successful Salzburg Guitar Fest at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg.


First Weekend (May 14 & 15, 2021)

We hope you’ll join us for the opening weekend of our 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival!  We look forward to sharing this glorious music with you in 2021!

Second Weekend (May 21 & 22, 2021)

Our 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival continues — join us for the second weekend of music and friendship!