WGBH News and Media Relations


February 28, 2013

Happy 328th, Bach! Classical New England Kicks Off ‘A Month of Bach’

WGBH’s classical radio service celebrates with
local concerts, live performances and special broadcasts
Live from Fraser Performance Studio:
‘Bach’s Keyboard Journeys’
Goldberg Variations with Randall Hodgkinson
‘Bach Around the Clock’ performance at Boston’s First Lutheran Church
CNE Goes West; Live broadcast from Mechanics Hall in Worcester
‘Bach Minutes’ every weekday with Benjamin K. Roe

BOSTON, Mass. (March 1, 2013) – Johann Sebastian Bach turns 328 this month. To celebrate, Classical New England (99.5 FM in Boston and New Hampshire; 88.7 FM in Providence; 89.5 on Nantucket; 89.7 HD2 throughout Greater Boston) is planning a month of performances and special programming, including the ‘Bach Around the Clock’ concert at the First Lutheran Church in Boston, a special broadcast of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Orchestra at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, unique performances in WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio, and a daily ‘Bach Minutes’ segment with CNE’s Managing Director Benjamin K. Roe.
“Not a week goes by on Classical New England when you don’t hear a work or two by Bach, and that’s as it should be,” Roe said. “No composer, classical or otherwise, has exerted a more powerful impact on music and culture than Bach. He has been called the ‘beginning and end of all music.’ With that in mind, from the beginning to the end of March, Classical New England will celebrate his genius on the air, in our studios, on the road and across the Greater Boston community.”
Every weekday at 7:30am and 5:30pm throughout March, Roe will take listeners inside Bach’s music with the ‘Bach Minutes’ series. Roe will explore the fascinating trajectory of Bach’s life and his music’s ongoing influence in today’s culture.
As part of the month-long celebration, CNE will air two special concerts from WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio. WGBH and CNE will welcome a live audience on March 7 for a recording of  ‘Bach’s Keyboard Journeys.’ The performance explores Bach’s most personal and profound music for solo keyboard. The performance airs on CNE on March 21 – Bach’s birthday. The ‘Journeys’ will feature harpsichord virtuoso Luca Gugliemi, Harvard scholar Robert Levin, Boston University pianist Sergey Shepkin and Boston Conservatory harpist Ina Zdorovetchi. Also on March 21, Pianist Randall Hodgkinson of the New England Conservatory will cap a day full of Bach programming on CNE with a live, complete performance of what has been called “the most ambitious and important keyboard piece written before Beethoven,” The Goldberg Variations. CNE will air Hodgkinson’s performance live.
On Friday, March 8, CNE travels west to Mechanics Hall in Worcester for a live broadcast featuring the renowned Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Orchestra. Pianist Inon Barnatan will join the British orchestra as the soloist in the Keyboard Concerto in D minor. The program also includes cellist Alisa Weilerstein as a soloist. Cathy Fuller will host the live broadcast concert, a presentation of Music Worcester, Inc.
Music lovers can enjoy an entire day of free, live performance on March 16. Boston’s First Lutheran Church and Classical New England are hosting an open house and sharing Bach’s music continuously from 6am to 6pm. The concert will feature student ensembles and world-class artists. CNE will stream the entire day of performances live on the web (www.classicalnewengland.org) and will air select works from the free concert on March 21. Additional details will be released next week.
On Sunday, March 24 at 3pm, Classical New England will air a special Palm Sunday performance of the St. Matthew Passion from the Handel and Haydn Society, led by Artistic Director Harry Christophers. Recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston and hosted by Brian McCreath, the featured performance includes a number of accomplished soloists, including Joshua Ellicott in the role of The Evangelist, Matthew Brook in the role of Christ, soprano Gillian Keith, mezzo-soprano Monica Groop, tenor Jeremy Budd and baritone Stephan Loges. The performance also airs on Good Friday (March 29) at 7pm and will be distributed nationally by Public Radio International.
CNE will add additional performances and recordings to the broadcast schedule. Throughout the month, hosts will share their favorite Bach works and stories about the influential composer and artist on Twitter. To join the conversation, use #BachCNE.

About WGBH and Classical New England
Classical New England is a service of WGBH, Boston, America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBH 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH’s Radio services reach listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston Public Radio; WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station, and Classical New England, operator of 99.5 WCRB, serving Boston and southern New Hampshire, 89.7 WGBH HD-2 Boston, 96.3 W242AA on Beacon Hill, 89.5 WNCK Nantucket, and 88.7 WJMF, Smithfield/Providence RI. Classical New England also boasts five additional online classical-music channels, including the BSO Concert Channel, Kids Classical Channel, The Bach Channel, and the Boston Early Music Channel. Find more information at wgbh.org and classicalnewengland.org.


WGBH Media Relations

Emily Balk

Catherine Burke