By John Fatuzzo
This weekend, Eastman School of Music and Eastman Community Music School students, faculty, staff, and administration will perform in three venues celebrating the 331st birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).
This weekend, there are three Bach in the Subways performances scheduled in the Rochester area in which members of the Eastman community will be performing:
Saturday, March 19 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Hart’s Local Grocers (10 Winthrop Street, Rochester, NY 14607)
Sunday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m. AND 3:00 p.m.
Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607)
Monday, March 21 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Press Coffee (480 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604)
Bach in the Subways is an international celebration of J.S. Bach’s music, now in its sixth year. Founder Dale Henderson, convinced that the decline in classical audiences was largely because many people never got a chance to experience this music live and up close, began performing the Bach Cello Suites in New York City subways in 2010. Feeling the experience was infinitely more powerful with money removed from the equation, Henderson declined donations and instead offered audiences free postcards explaining that his intentions were to sow the seeds for future generations of classical music lovers. His efforts, which he called “Bach in the Subways,” attracted appreciative attention from fans, other musicians the media. In the following years, Bach in the Subways has reached widespread popularity. In 2015, thousands of musicians in 150 cities in 40 countries offered performances of Bach’s music freely to the public. More Bach was played and heard in a single day than ever before in history.
There are four core elements to a Bach in the Subways performance:
1. The music of J.S. Bach is performed anywhere, any time.
2. The performance is open & accessible to all: a musical gift for anyone who wants to hear it.
3. No admission fee is required, no money is accepted by the performers, and no other commercial transactions occur immediately before, during, or after the performance.
4. No musician is ever charged to perform for Bach in the Subways.
Although Bach in the Subways originated in the subways of New York City, cities that do not have subways or that possess rules that prevent music from being played there can host these performances as well. Streets, churches, schools, coffee shops and airports have been popular locations in non-subway cities in the past. Performances have ranged from solo instruments to full Brandenburg Concertos, but all in public areas!
The local Bach in the Subways performances that feature members of the Eastman community are being coordinated by Eastman student Erie Lee and Professor Petar Kodzas. At this time, there is still space for performers for the Saturday performance at Hart’s. For more information for those interested in performing, contact Erie Lee at email@example.com