2021 Festival Update
The 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival will be Virtual and presented online. We modified the events due to the following considerations:
- Travel restrictions have an impact on our soloists, musicians and audience members.
- Gathering a live audience is prohibited in our performance venues.
- Gathering our Choir and Orchestra for rehearsals has been restricted for many months. Rehearsing and then performing the repertoire that was initially announced for the Festival is not possible.
** We made this difficult decision after careful consideration of our options, with our priority being the safety and health of our audience, our musicians and our staff. To access a PDF of our COVID-19 protocol, please click here. **
Thank you for your support and for understanding the unprecedented nature of this season.
For those who have ordered Festival tickets, please review our ticket options form to submit your request for a voucher, a refund or to make a donation. Thank you for your patience and support.
We will communicate our updates regarding performances and all live-stream viewing details as promptly as we can to enable everyone to make their plans.
Due to Covid-19, our 2021 Bethlehem Bach Festival has been modified to offer live-streaming concerts and events. At this time, we are also announcing that Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld has confirmed a new retirement date in response to our much compromised 2020-2021 season. Conductor Funfgeld will lead The Bach Choir and Bach festival orchestra through June 2022, completing his 39th Season.
At this year’s virtual Festival, he will lead Choir members, along with Orchestra members and soloists through live-streamed performances.
All updates will be posted here on our Festival page online.
This season, perhaps more than ever, we are anticipating The Bethlehem Bach Festival in May, 2021 with great excitement and joy!
Not only will The Festival be welcomed back into many lives following the 2020 hiatus, we will also be celebrating our Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld, as he conducts his final Bach Festival after an almost 40-year tenure as our leader.
Music is a transformative experience. The bonds it creates, the memories it evokes, the traditions it builds: each one remarkable and treasured. While we have been unable to share these experiences with our audience for several months, we look forward to the Festival when we will once again forge connections through music and embark on those beautiful journeys together.
Tickets are on sale NOW by phone or by mail only; all Festival tickets will be on sale ONLINE beginning the Spring.
After accessing the brochure, use the > on the right of your screen to page through the brochure!
After accessing the form, use the > on the right of your screen to page through the order form!
Thank you for your support and we’ll see you in Bethlehem
Please contact Renée James, Marketing Director, with any questions about our upcoming Festival: 610-866-4382 x 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I bought tickets to the 2021 Festival. What are my options?
We are offering ticket-holders three options for their 2021 Festival tickets: a voucher toward any concerts in the 2021-2022 season, including Festival tickets; a refund or the option to make donation to The Choir in the amount of your tickets. You may make your selection online through this FORM.
I have a voucher for my unused 2020 Festival tickets. What do I do with that?
Many patrons have vouchers in hand, representing tickets purchased for either our Spring 2020 Concert or our 2020 Festival. We will honor all vouchers issued in 2020 through June 30, 2022.
We will reissue vouchers to everyone who received one in 2020, either for their tickets to the Spring Concert or the Festival. They will be valid through June 30, 2022.
With some Covid-19 restrictions being eased, and the ongoing vaccinations taking place, why isn’t the audience being allowed to attend?
Because we are performing as guests in various venues, we must adhere to their Covid Response Team protocol. At Lehigh University, Packer Memorial Chapel is closed until further notice, and outside guests are not allowed to have an audience in Baker Hall (Zoellner Arts Center).
In other venues, with the number of people involved in the performance – including The Choir and the Orchestra members and soloists – we’ve reached the in-person limit indoors.
How will the live-streaming work? What if I can’t watch the lecture or concerts on May 14 or 15th?
We are offering a 2021 “Festival Pass” at no charge but we do ask patrons to register. We’ll send a link to the live-stream to everyone who registers to view any or all events this year. Our live-streaming partner is NAME TK.
Once they premiere, the concerts will be available on The Choir’s YouTube channel starting on June 1 and may be viewed at any time.
As noted above, information about our 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival will continue to be updated as needed. Our goal, as always, is to offer glorious music offers you joy, comfort, inspiration and peace as only the music of J.S. Bach can.
Our largest event of the year takes place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, traditionally 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. As our plans for 2021 evolve into a Virtual Festival, we hope to once again share our passion for Bach’s music with you and celebrate the transformative power of his extraordinary gifts.
“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
We invite you to make memorable musical connections in 2021! Here are a few snapshots from our 111th Bethlehem Bach Festival.
Festival Soloists ~ all subject to change
Festival Artist-in-Residence 2021
Conversation with Greg Funfgeld, Artistic Director and Conductor of The Bach Choir and Michael Novak, Artistic Director of Paul Taylor Dance Company.
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
J.S. Bach Flute Sonata
Robin Kani, flute
Greg Funfgeld, harpsichord
Loretta OSullivan, cello
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.”
May 14 & 15, 2021
PLEASE NOTE: Repertoire, soloists and venues all subject to change ~ We look forward to sharing this glorious music with you in 2021!
Second Weekend (May 21 & 22, 2021)
PLEASE NOTE: Repertoire, soloists and venues all subject to change ~ Join us for a celebration of music and friendship!