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Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, is proud to announce its 28th Annual Bach Festival in August 2023. Grace Episcopal Church is located at 1041 Wisconsin, NW, in Georgetown, Washington, DC.
The 28th Bach Festival will offer three outstanding concerts on August 11th at 7:30pm, August 13th at 1:30pm, and August 18th at 7:30pm. All concerts will take place in the church.
Lawrence Molinaro, Music Director at Grace Church from 1992-1998, created The Bach Festival at Grace Church in 1993. Since then, the concerts have presented the incomparable music of Johann Sebastian Bach, also featuring compositions by Bach’s contemporaries and composers influenced by him. Mr. Molinaro produced and performed in the first six Festivals.
The renowned local chamber group Con Brio will open the Festival on Friday, August 11th, at 7:30 pm. Shaughn Dowd, Flautist and Director of Con Brio, and Lawrence Molinaro,
Organist and Harpsichordist, were among the first performers in the initial Bach Festival at Grace Church over 28 years ago.
Con Brio’s concert is entitled: “Church and Stadt (No Separation)”. Con Brio commemorates the 300th anniversary of Bach’s arrival in the city (“Stadt”) of Leipzig with a program that juxtaposes his orchestral writing for his (1) church cantatas with that of his (2) non-religious works for secular institutions in the city. The program will pair (1) “Sinfonias” from Bach’s third cycle of Leipzig cantatas with (2) his second orchestral suite in B minor (BWV 1067). The latter was most likely written for the Leipzig Collegium Musicum founded by his friend Georg Telemann. The Sinfonias ultimately became Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in E Major (BWV 1053) but originally included the organ as a solo instrument.
The A. David Moore Organ at Grace Episcopal Church is a fine partner for performances of the music of Bach and his contemporaries. It was constructed in 1981 using the same organ building principles practiced during the life of Johann Sebastian Bach in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Polish Concert Organist Dr. Michał Szostak will perform on Sunday, August 13th, 2023 at 1:30 pm. Dr. Szostak (Warsaw) will present a program which includes the Fantasia in G-Major (BWV 572), also known as Pièce d’orgue, and an arrangement by Pierre Gouin of “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Dr. Szostak first performed in the Bach Festival in 2018. Since that time, he has completed his doctorate in Organ Performance and Musicology. Now an active international performer, his many appearances this year have included recitals in the Ukraine (Lviv), Kazakhstan, the UK, Germany, and his native Poland.
Dr. David Bond will present the only all Bach recital in this year’s Festival. His program at 7:30 pm on Friday, August 18th, includes the Fantasia in c minor (BWV 562), and Bach’s magnificent Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major (BWV 552), also known as the “St. Anne Prelude and Fugue.”
Dr. Bond is a native of Montana. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree (cum laude) from St. Olaf College and went on to attend the University of Michigan where he earned both his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees.
He has been honored in several regional and international organ competitions. As an active recitalist, his performances have been characterized as “mesmerizing…an astonishing talent” (Altoona, Pennsylvania). David Bond is “an organist to be reckoned with” (Buffalo, New York).
An experienced church musician, Dr. Bond has held positions in Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio. Since November 1985 he has been Organist/Choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church in Buffalo.
In 2021 the 27th Bach Festival was held as a Virtual Festival on-line. Performers that year included Con Brio, Shaughn Dowd, Lawrence Molinaro, and Dr. Szostak These and all other performances from the 2021 Virtual Bach Festival remain on the website at www.gracedc.org.
Concerning the Grace Church Bach Festival the Washington Post commented:
“Georgetown’s C & O Canal runs near Grace Church, set quietly back from Wisconsin Avenue and a hairs-breath from the Potomac. The church offers one of Washington’s supreme concert series, its annual Bach Festival.”
For more information, please visit our website at www.gracedc.org, or contact Dr. Francine Máté, Bach Festival Director and Organist/Choirmaster at Grace Church, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-333-7100