Evanston-based Bach Week Festival's fall Bachanalia, its signature fundraiser featuring pairings of live classical music with specially selected wines, will take place 5:30-8 p.m. Sunday, October 8, 2023, at the Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central Street, Evanston.
Proceeds from Bachanalia, hosted by the festival’s board and open to the public, will support the spring 2024 Bach Week Festival, capstone of the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration. The festival will run April 26 to May 5 in Evanston and Chicago.
Bachanalia admission includes appetizers and dessert, in addition to the wine tastings and concert program.
The event’s whimsical title combines the last name of the festival’s namesake, German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and “bacchanalia,” the ancient Roman festival of entertainment and revelry named for Bacchus, Roman god of wine.
Richard Webster, Bach Week’s longtime music director, will emcee the event.
Webster has led Bach Week since 1975 and performed in and helped organize the 1974 inaugural festival in Evanston under the direction of festival founder, organist Karel Paukert.
Sweet Sounds of Baroque Songs
“Sweeter Than Roses: A Bouquet of Baroque Songs” is the title of the evening’s music program, performed by soprano Hannah De Priest, lutenist and Baroque guitarist Brandon Acker, and harpsichordist Jason Moy.
Works will include Johann Philipp Krieger’s “An die Easement,” Barbara Strozzi’s “Che si puo fare” and “Tradimento!,” Giovanni Zamboni’s Preludio in C Minor and Sarabanda in G Major, Claudio Monteverdi’s “Ohimé ch'io cado,” William Byrd ‘s “The Queen’s Alman,” Henry Purcell’s “Sweeter Than Roses,” from “Pausanias,” Z. 585, Francois Couperin’s “Les Baricades Misterieuses,” Jean-Baptiste Drouart de Bousset’s “Pourqoui, doux Rossignol,” Henry Desmarest’s “Qui craint de ressentir d’amoureuses langueurs” from “Circé,” Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Sans frayeur dans ce bois,” H. 467.
As he has for past Bach Week Bachanalias, Mike Baker, an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, consults with the performers and listens to recordings of the pieces they’ll perform to select wines that echo the personalities of the musical works to be heard.
Baker will discuss each wine as it's poured for guests, followed by a performance of the musical work the wine was selected to complement.
Wine selections will be announced at the event.
Tickets and Information
Admission to Bach Week’s 2023 Bachanalia benefit is $75 per person. Tickets and information are available at bachweek.org/bachanalia and by phone, 847-269-9050.