2020 Bethlehem Bach Festival Canceled
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.
To read more, please click HERE for our Festival page.
2020-2021 Season Preview
As we prepare for Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld’s final season with The Bach Choir, and anticipating all the glorious music that will again fill our hearts as we share the performances together, we offer this preview of the music to come.
Please mark your calendars and join us!
- October 16, 2020: A special event with Yo-Yo Ma. For more information , please click HERE.
- Saturday and Sunday, December 12 & 13, 2020: Christmas Concerts
- J.S. Bach – Christmas Oratorio, Parts 1, 2, & 3
- Sunday, February 28, 2021: The Greg Funfgeld Family Concert
- Including Benjamin Britten – Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, in a Bach Choir collaboration with Lehigh University Philharmonic, the Dance Department of Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Performing Arts and members of the Bach Festival Orchestra
- Sunday, March 21, 2021: Spring Concert
- J.S. Bach – Cantata 106, Durufle – Requiem & Handel – Messiah, Part Three
- Friday & Saturday, May 14 – 15, 21 – 22, 2021 – 114th Bethlehem Bach Festival
- Greg Funfgeld’s final Festival as Artistic Director and Conductor includes St. Matthew Passion, Mass in B Minor, and Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company as our Festival Artist-in-Residence.
But good news – we are preparing for a “virtual concert” and will offer that at noon on Tuesday, April 14. CLICK HERE for more information about our Bach at Noon Watch Party – and enjoy the concert from the comfort of your own home.
We look forward to seeing you again very soon.
Bach at Noon
“I liked the piece when we were asked to sit with our hands folded. I closed my eyes and I could picture a bird gliding over a beautiful green grassy meadow. I felt like the bird gliding over the meadow as I listen to the music.” ~ Grade 7 Student, Strayer Middle School, following a ‘Bach to School’ assembly.
Initiated in 2005, this free concert series was designed as a community and economic development initiative educating new audiences about Bach’s music. It includes seven performances throughout the year at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem and three summer concerts at St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Allentown. Greg Funfgeld introduces each program with an engaging, informal talk. Bach at Noon has been a phenomenal success attracting audiences of all ages totaling more than 8,000 a year. A frequent response from audience members is, “This is such a blessing!”
This season, we’re thrilled to announce that our Bach at Noon concerts will be broadcast by WWFM, the Classical Network. This award-winning classical music station is listener supported, and has offered a number of Bach Choir concerts in previous seasons. We’re delighted that they’ll be sharing our joyous Bach at Noon concerts with listeners near and far each month!
The schedule for the WWFM broadcasts is shown below, listing the concert, followed by the broadcast date. Note that each month, the broadcasts take place at 1 PM on the second Monday of the month.
September 10 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, October 7
October 8 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, November 11
November 12 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, January 13
January 14 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, February 10
February 11 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, March 9
March 10 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, April 9
April 14 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, June 8
June 9 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, July 13
July 14 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, August 10
August 11 Bach at Noon / Broadcast on Monday, September 7
Welcoming the spring and celebrating the sacred Easter season with the music of J.S. Bach has been a long been a tradition of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Centerpieces of these performances over the years have included Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude and The Passion According to Saint John, along with the works of more contemporary composers including Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten and Morten Lauridsen.
113th 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. The Festival is a glorious tradition treasured by thousands of people from throughout the United States and beyond since the American premiere of Bach’s monumental Mass at the first Bethlehem Bach Festival in 1900. The Festival is presented each year over two weekends in May, and includes guest artists-in-residence, featured young musicians, lectures and chorale sings with the audience.
Gala Concert & Fundraiser
Building on the successful presentation of such high profile artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Dave Brubeck, Emma Kirkby, Tiempo Libre, Hilary Hahn, the Swingle Singers, Eliot Fisk, the American Boychoir, Bach Collegium Japan, Roomful of Teeth, Thomanerchor and Peter Serkin, the annual Gala is a fundraiser and a fun musical and social event featuring Bach connections in different genres with guest artists at the top of their field.
The Choir’s long tradition of offering Christmas music concerts began with the first complete performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the United States in 1901. Since then, the Choir has continued to bring Bach’s music, along with the sacred Christmas music of other composers, including more contemporary pieces, to the community with its annual December concerts in Allentown and Bethlehem.
Initiated in 2000, the annual Greg Funfgeld Family Concerts are imaginative, collaborative, interactive concerts that feature professional and student artists in the fields of music, dance, theater, visual arts, and poetry, performing with the full Bach Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra. For many parents, the Greg Funfgeld Family Concert offers the perfect opportunity to introduce their children to Bach, classical music and a live performance.