Thursday, August 9, 2018

Carmel's Bach Festival


One of Tomoko’s strong memories about music festival performance takes place in California by the sea: the now tourist mecca Carmel.

When she performed there, Carmel was a simpler but popular town. A big event back then was a sandcastle contest, begun in 1961. Nevertheless it was already known as an arts colony, visited by authors such as Jack Long and Upton Sinclair. Carmel’s Arts and Crafts Club was established in 1905, and profited from the San Francisco 1906 earthquake as creative people moved to Carmel’s safety. Shakespeare plays were also a mainstay from 1911.

And the Bach Festival was well established by the time Tomoko experienced it. The festival began in 1935, and even then featured four days of concerts. By the time Tomoko participated, the festival had transformed from an amateur to a professional venue. Now it has grown to two weeks of performances and learning in July, with worldwide participation.

From the beginning the Bach festival at Carmel was strongly supported by the community. Tomoko remembers a 96 year old lady who was a regular concert goer. She opened her home to festival performers, and provide them her personal service as a thank you to the visiting musicians.

Tomoko especially appreciated the mutual appreciation and support of music experienced at the Bach Festival. With his range of compositions and his own role in the community, Bach would have felt comfortable with the Carmel celebration and its venue for universal connections.


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