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2018 Bach Festival Week - June 1-9

Friday, June 1, 2018 - June 9, 2018
11:00 am (Expired)
All around the town
Kalamazoo, MI (269) 337-7407
Cost: 13 Free events; 4 ticketed concerts
Contact & More Info
Contact: Linda Van Dis
Email: bach@kzoo.edu
Phone: (269) 337-7407

Schedule of Events:


Friday, June 1, 11 am Recital Hall, Kalamazoo College

Stefan Szkafarowsky, baritone


A native of New York, Mr. Szkafarowsky attend­ed the American Opera Center at Julliard, and the Westchester Conservatory of Music. Stefan Szkafarowsky has been praised for the beautiful quality of his bass voice as well as for his impec­cable technique. As a concert artist, and opera superstar, Stefan has been a featured soloist with numerous symphony orchestras and opera companies across the globe. In collaboration with Kalamazoo College, voice students will have the opportunity to perform for and be coached by a world class singer!


Kalamazoo Art Hop – Festival Opener - LECTURE and ART EXHIBIT

History Untold: Famine in the Ukraine, the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1933

Andrew Koehler, guest speaker

Friday, June 1, 5:30 pm, Kalamazoo Public Library

FREE EVENT register at KPL

Andrew Koehler, music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, will lead a discussion and lecture about the untold tragedy: the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1933, when millions of Ukrainians perished needlessly on Stalin’s orders. Andrew will share his personal and familial relationship to this tragic event, and why the Stankovych Requiem is such an important act of testament. A beautiful and moving collection of student artwork will be on display from the town of Konotop in Eastern Ukraine depicting the young mind’s interpretations of this historical tragedy. Joining this display will be a local collection of new pieces created by Kalamazoo Public High School students expressing hunger in the present time.

Feast or Famine – 2018 Bach Festival Week Opening Concert
Bach Festival Chorus, Chris Ludwa, conductor

Kalamazoo Philharmonia, Andrew Koehler, conductor

Jessica Louise Coe, soprano

Stefan Szkafarowsky, baritone

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 8:00 pm, Chenery Auditorium; pre-concert talk at 7:00 pm


Belshazzar's Feast, William Walton 

Requiem for Those Who Died of Famine, Yevhen Stankovych

Out of a desire to create a more equitable world, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus and Kalamazoo Philharmonia will partner together to present a concert about two great historical injustices. William Walton's spectacular oratorio Belshazzar's Feast traces the writing on the wall that foretells doom for the decadent Belshazzar, and liberation for the Hebrew slaves in Babylonian captivity. This ancient tale is balanced by music which commemorates a more recent tragedy: the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1933, when millions of Ukrainians perished needlessly on Stalin's orders. Contemporary Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych's Requiem for Those Who Died of Famine will be presented both in Chicago on May 19, at the invitation of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation, and in Kalamazoo, collectively the work's U.S. premiere, memorializing the tragedy's 85th anniversary. The balance of these two seminal works provides an evening of vivid storytelling, music that is by turns haunting and thrilling, and thoughtful questions about our human connectedness across the globe throughout history.


The City Sings Bach
Sunday, June 3, 2018, Times and Locations TBA - FREE EVENT

In its ninth year, area church choirs and organists join in honoring the life and legacy of J.S. Bach by presenting a work by Bach, his contemporaries, or someone directly influenced by him during their regular services. Participating churches will be part of a unique city-wide celebration of Bach’s musical legacy.


Bach and Jammies
Monday June 4, 2018, 6:30 pm, KPL, Central Branch – FREE EVENT
Tuesday June 5, 2018, 6:30 pm, KPL, Oshtemo Branch– FREE EVENT
In collaboration with the Kalamazoo Public Library

Soprano Jessica Louise Coe and pianist Carl Witt joined with will send you to the moon and back with this lovely all-ages family evening event.  Your favorite bed time stories told by KPL's very own Bill Caskey, will be paired with beautiful music and lullabies. Come in your jammies and snuggle down to an evening of awe and wonder.


31st Annual Bach-Around-the-Block Organ Crawl

Lost Souls: The Miscellaneous Organ Works of J.S. Bach

Monday, June 4, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Begins at First Baptist Church - FREE EVENT

In collaboration with The American Guild of Organists

Discover the music of J.S. Bach and the sounds of three beautiful pipe organs in the churches of downtown Kalamazoo.


Beer Choir!
Bach Festival Chorus and Community, Chris Ludwa, conductor
Friday June 1, 2018, 8:00 pm, Arcadia Brewing Company, 701 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo – FREE EVENT

A fun evening of community singing for anyone who loves to sing! Join us outside in the beautiful garden at Arcadia Brewing Company for a sing-along led by Bach Festival’s music director Chris Ludwa.


Bach’s Brunch Concert
Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 11:00 am, Dalton Theater, Kalamazoo College – FREE EVENT

In collaboration with Kalamazoo College Department of Music

Enjoy a lovely mid-morning concert featuring faculty, students, and friends of the Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University communities. A light brunch of pastries, fruit, and beverages will be provided during this one hour concert.


Bach Rocks Improvisation Workshop with The Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm, Dalton Theater, Kalamazoo College – FREE EVENT

Experience, participate, or come to listen and learn as members of the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet lead a creative and engaging improv workshop. All instruments and abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Bach Rocks – The Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet
Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 7:30 pm, Dalton Theater, Kalamazoo College


Bassist, composer and band leader Dave Sharp and his new WORLDS QUARTET present their blend of Arabic, Eastern European and world music influenced original compositions. Recognized in the Jazz Times 2010 Critic’s Poll, the Dave Sharp WORLDS QUARTET masterfully blends rhythms, sounds, and textures from across the globe. This evening of "World Jazz" music will feature Dave Sharp on electric and upright bass, Igor Houwat on oud, Henrik Karapetyan on violin, and Carolyn Koebel on percussion.


Breaking Barriers with Bach – Baroque Meets Celtic
Jessica Louise Coe, Soprano
Cara Lieurance, recorder and flute

Cori Somers, violin

Carl Witt, piano and harpsichord
Friday June 8, 2018, 7:30 pm, Light Fine Arts Center, Kalamazoo College


Experience the likenesses and differences between two very beautiful genres of music side by side as one living and breathing creation. Creating an atmosphere to question, explore, and enjoy the beauty of classical Baroque pieces paired with traditional Celtic music.  Embrace the beauty of Baroque and take delight in the traditional Irish tune “The Butterfly” with Carl Witt’s new arrangement that gives you a taste of many musical genres. This concert is generously underwritten by Thomas I. and Caroline K. Meyers


Jazz it up with Bach: The Merling Trio and Guests

Bach Festival Week 2018 Season Finale
Saturday, June 9, 2018, 7:30 pm, Dalton Theater, Kalamazoo College


Closing the 2018 Bach Festival Week, the internationally acclaimed Merling Trio will premiere a new jazz-based interpretation of Bach’s Italian Concerto by local composers Tom Knific, Gene Knific, and Adam Schumaker.  The program will also feature a performance of Schubert’s landmark “Trout” quintet.  This concert is generously underwritten by Deborah D. Russell, and by Bill and Jeannette Maxey.