By Ted Shorack
On Tuesday, it was announced via Twitter that the Hult Center was already sold out for opening night of the Oregon Bach Festival. The seats were in such high demand for Thursday’s kickoff, that The Register Guard reported the box office being bombarded by those who hadn’t acquired a ticket, many hoping to capitalize on cancelations.
The night began with The Pacific International Children’s Choir and was headlined by world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The famous classical musician has been coming to the Oregon Bach Festival for some time and was well received by those in attendance.
The festival has made Eugene a summer destination for many around the country and world. It grew out of a series of workshops and an informal concert put on by German organist and conductor Helmuth Rilling in 1970. Last week, the Eugene Weekly ran a feature about Rilling and his daughter’s biography of him.
Along with Rilling, the University of Oregon’s School of Music has been a part of the festival since the beginning. The performances that are put on each year are interspersed with education programs for aspiring composers and singers. Musical education has been a big part of the festival from the start.
The festival runs until July 10th, but it seems remaining tickets are becoming scarce for all events. There are many notable guest artists appearing and the full list can be viewed on the Oregon Bach Festival website. A local Oregon favorite is the Portland Cello Project, which will be performing on Monday in the Hult lobby.