With J.S. Bach’s birthday rounding the bend again on March 21st, Bach in the Subways is back, bringing the wigged master’s tunes to urban nooks and crannies all over the world, proving that centuries later, the old guy can still inspire, excited and move audiences of all types.
This mammoth event has a big footprint in Los Angeles, starting with a 10-hour marathon of performances at historic Union Station. The global event officially runs March 18-21, but LA’s listings show performances focused on the weekend: Saturday and Sunday, the 18th and 19th. This is the best time to find a more leisurely audience, of course — while commuters may appreciate Bach, they’re unlikely to have extra moments to stand around and enjoy a half-hour performance. That makes this weekend a fantastic chance to ride the rails, see a bit of Los Angeles, and mentally raise a glass (or coffee cup) to the guy who made counterpoint a “thing”.
While instrumentalists tend to dominate the performer roster each year, here are some vocal performers who pepper the local ranks for 2017, all part of that marathon in gorgeous architectural spaces — keep an ear out!
Saturday, March 18
Union Station Bach Marathon, Downtown LA
9am — Coffee Cantata: A performance in the Grand Waiting Hall by soprano Marisa Maupin, with complimentary coffee for audience members, provided by Starbucks. (How’s that for a caffeinated kick-off?)
2pm — Arias on period instruments by Concerto NoHo, in the Grand Waiting Hall.
4:50pm — The Aria Korean Choir brings the combined forces of three choral entities to create a 65-voice powerhouse, singing in Latin and Korean in the Grand Waiting Hall.
5:45pm — Mezzo-soprano Aumna Iqbal sings “Erbarme dich” from St. Matthew Passion and “Agnus Dei” from Mass in B Minor, performing in the Historic Ticketbooth Hall.
Programs are subject to change, of course. Check the BITS website or check in at the Information desk when you arrive, to see if an updated schedule is available. Be sure to check out the other cities and events on other dates, too!