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Bach360cropNew York Public Radio station WQXR presents Bach 360°, a ten-day, two-hundred-hour festival that explores how J. S. Bach resonates with today’s audiences.

From 21 through 31 March 2013, the festival will cover every piece by the composer – from the beloved Brandenburg Concertos (BWV 1046-51) to the sublimely beautiful passions and the intricate fugues – in a range of styles, including live recordings, classic interpretations, period-instrument performances, modern transcriptions and orchestrations, among others.

The music will be peppered with expert commentary, daily themes (“Bach in Leipzig,” “Bach on Keyboard”), biographical details, and insights by musicians, scholars and writers, such as Paul Elie, author of Reinventing Bach; Christoph Wolff, the leading Bach scholar in the United States; and Oliver Sacks, neuroscientist and author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.

Bach 360° will also feature two live events in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR:

  • On Saturday, 23 March 2013, from 7-11pm EDT, WQXR presents “Bach Lounge,” an evening dedicated to cross-genre re-imaginings of the master’s work. Guests will include pianist Ethan Iverson, jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, singer/composer Gabriel Kahane, violinist Jennifer Koh, cellist Jan Vogler, pianist Benjamin Hochman, early music performance from Julliard 415, and other artists will perform the Bach works that most speak to them.
  • On Wednesday, 28 March 2013, at 12 noon EDT, Simone Dinnerstein will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) in her first New York performance of the complete work since 2009.

A special edition of WQXR’s classical music industry podcast, Conducting Business, will convene a roundtable of experts on the longstanding debate around whether Bach should only be played “authentically” using the instruments and style of his day, or whether the work is open to modern interpretations and reworkings.

There will be a “Bach Café,” a series of videos of notable performers playing Bach at WQXR’s intimate café. And for those looking to add some movement to their listening experience, WQXR.org will program a special Bach yoga playlist specifically for instructors to use in their classes. The track listing will be published on WQXR.org as well.

Finally, WQXR.org will offer a free download from a new Bach recording each day of the festival. Up first will be a reissue of a classic Pablo Casals version of Suite in G Major (BWV 1007) for solo cello.