What do you get for the music lover who has everything? A ticket to something they’ve never heard or seen before, like Northwest BachFest’s virtual “Across the Miles” series.
The series, which features virtual concerts from and interviews with a variety of performers, launched in October with “The Intimate World of Cole Porter” hosted by Rob Kapilow of NPR’s “What Makes It Great?”
The remaining five performances in the “Across the Miles” series are now available for purchase as a package just in time for the holidays.
Each video will be posted on the BachFest private YouTube channel and available for four designated days unless otherwise noted. Ticketholders will be sent an access code when they buy a ticket. Passes are $20 per household per performance or $100 for a five-performance package. To purchase tickets, visit nwbachfest.com.
When speaking to The Spokesman-Review in September, Northwest BachFest Artistic Director Zuill Bailey said virtual performances, including BachFest’s “Postcards From Spokane” series, were more important than ever while the coronavirus pandemic has left music venues temporarily dark.
“We’re calling it ‘Across the Miles’ this year because we are a lightning rod for the world’s celebrated artists, and whether they are in front of us live or bringing things to us from around the world, it’s a special experience,” he said.
From Friday through Monday, viewers can enjoy pianist and Northwest BachFest performer Richard Dowling in “Beethoven, Chopin and More” as he brings the music of Beethoven, Chopin and Gottschalk to a virtual stage. This program also features a second performance, during which Dowling will play the music of George Gershwin, David Thomas Roberts and Scott Joplin
“He’s beloved wherever he goes,” Bailey said of Dowling.
To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, pianist Adam Golka will perform three piano sonatas as part of “Celebrating Beethoven – Three Dreamy Sonatas for Piano,” which will be available Dec. 11-14.
“The Beethoven celebration, that is huge because that is a culmination of many years of our work where we wanted to celebrate the 250th birthday of Beethoven this year,” Bailey said.
On Jan. 16, viewers will be treated to a live performance featuring Juilliard graduate, opera singer and Met Opera outreach artist Shelly Watson. “The Singing Siren – Classical Cabaret” will be broadcast live from New York City at 7:30 p.m.
“ ‘The Singing Siren’ will be live, and she will be able to know who she’s singing for,” Bailey said. “She’ll be able to see and be aware of her audience. It’s going to be very connected.”
Next in the series is “The Electrifying Duo Parnas – Rising Stars” featuring violinist Madelyn Parnas and cellist Cicely Parnas, the latter of whom has performed at Northwest BachFest with Cello-bration and Break of Reality. This performance will be available from March 19-22.
“They’re at the age that this technology and this new chapter is not daunting to them,” Bailey said. “It’s a part of their life, and it’s always been a part of their life, from social media to how to re-envision the future of what we do as artistic communicators. We’ve given them the carte-blanche platform to show us what is next and to take it 10 times higher.”
The series will close with pianist Matt Herskowitz performing original jazz arrangements of Chopin’s Etudes during “Chopin Re-Imagined and All Jazzed Up!,” available April 23-26.
“You can’t believe it unless you’ve witnessed it,” Bailey said. “It really is flying and soaring when you hear him play. You can’t imagine that someone is capable of doing what he is capable of doing.”
Speaking in September, after releasing “Postcards From Spokane” and before the launch of “Across the Miles,” Bailey talked about his optimism for the future of Northwest BachFest.
“I am so invigorated by where we’re headed as an organization and that we were ready for this and that we’re unveiling it with style and grace,” he said.
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