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American Bach Soloists

August 5-14 2016
at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music



The 2016 ABS Festival & Academy will feature music from Baroque Italy. The flourishing cities of Florence, Venice, and Rome—the primary destinations of the Grand Tour excursions taken by British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, and the meeting places for the most celebrated composers and performers of the era—offered some of the most glorious art, architecture, and music to be found anywhere during the Baroque era.

Festival concerts will present music from Handel’s early years in Rome, when he composed music for the “Carmelite Vespers” services, including the tour-de-force “Dixit Dominus” for chorus and orchestra. ABS’s performances of that work are consistently highly acclaimed.

Works by Italian composers including Scarlatti, Tartini, Torelli, and Vivaldi will be performed by members of the ABS Academy Faculty; and the Academy Festival Orchestra will present Corelli’s 1714 Concerti Grossi using the enormous and rarely heard forces he used in his day.

ABS’s annual performances of Bach’s great Mass in B Minor, featuring the American Bach Choir and the Academy Orchestra, will be presented at the end of each Festival weekend.

Save the dates now. Tickets go on sale early in 2016.


Festival Events

The 2015 American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy is a celebration of Bach’s French contemporaries and the splendid music of the extravagant court at Versailles.

Artistic and Music Director Jeffrey Thomas will conduct masterworks by Couperin, Rameau, Rebel, and others, including Marin Marais’ spectacular opera Sémélé, presented complete for the first time outside of Europe. From the grand to the elegantly mirthful, this exploration of the musical inspiration and wit of the French Baroque will be performed alongside Bach’s Mass in B Minor, a beloved tradition of the ABS Festival & Academy.

The concerts lectures, master classes, and colloquium of the ABS Festival & Academy provide a comprehensive, 10-day immersive experience in the music and culture of the Baroque. Join us and be seduced by the beauty and grandeur of Versailles & The Parisian Baroque.

Masterworks Series
Jeffrey Thomas directs the American Bach Soloists, the American Bach Choir, and the Academy Orchestra and Soloists, in annual performances of Bach's Mass in B Minor, large-scale instrumental and vocal works, and concerts of Baroque oratorio and opera. .

Distinguished Artist Series
These concerts feature performances by acclaimed early music specialists. Within the framework of a solo recital, instrumentalists and singers will present works with orchestral accompaniment, in programs built around themes of cultures, places, or events in history.

Academy Events

The American Bach Soloists Academy—the educational component of the ABS Summer Bach Festival—offers advanced conservatory-level students and emerging professionals unique opportunities to study and perform Baroque music in a multi-disciplinary learning environment.

Academy participants are featured exclusively in two days of Academy-in-Action Concerts offering chamber vocal and instrumental works by Baroque masters.

Public Colloquia
Annual engaging forums for performers and audience members alike explore a variety of topics centered on historical, artistic, and practical considerations of performing Baroque music today. (Free)

Lecture Series
Join the members of the American Bach Soloists Academy for a series of enlightening and informative public lectures presented by the Academy faculty on a wide range of subjects centered on Festival themes. (Free)

Master Class Series
The ABS Academy opens its doors to the public to witness the artistic transformations that make Master Classes so tremendously exciting, as performers and their master teachers share their knowledge and insights. (Free)

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