Oregon Bach Festival

A small university town on the American West Coast made history last weekend (July 11). Eugene, Oregon, was the venue of a world premiere, and the path to success for the new work has already been cleared. "Credo," written by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, will be heard in several European places over the months to come, including the Vatican, St. Petersburg, Krakow, and Stuttgart (Oct. 10/11). In addition, Penderecki's Credo will be released on CD this fall. The venue of the premiere, Eugene, is a city of 100,000, but it's in not in the backwaters when it comes to music. For 28 years, it has been the location of the biggest Bach Festival in the United States. For two weeks of the year, the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene attracts about 25,000 visitors, including many tourists from abroad. The festival was founded by the current director of the Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling. Serving as the music director of the Oregon Bach Festival, Rilling compiles concert programs that go far beyond the music of Bach, and Rilling was also the one who commissioned Penderecki to write the credo. Georg Hirsch was in Eugene to hear the new work.

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