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In a first, the 88th annual BW Bach Festival takes a new stage

BW Bach Festival director Dirk GarnerHonoring the traditions of the past while evolving to meet the current moment, Baldwin Wallace will expand the 88th annual Bach Festival beyond BW's campus and into Cleveland.

Connecting to Audience Members Of The Future

Innovation was top-of-mind for director Dr. Dirk Garner when planning the 88th Annual Bach Festival. He feels the experience of listening to music in the 21st century is vastly different than it was in the 1700s - as technology has advanced, so should the BW Bach Festival.

"I want to continue to explore how the live performance of music is going to work in the 21st century and be one of the creators of that future," Garner elaborates.

Setting the Stage for Growth

For the first time, major festival events will move from their home at BW to premiere local performance venues.

Maltz Performing Arts CenterChamber music will be performed by esteemed Cleveland Orchestra faculty at the Cleveland Museum of Art with the performance of "St. Matthew Passion" to follow at the Maltz Performing Arts Center.

"Bach Festival should be a special event not only for Baldwin Wallace University - but also a point of pride for Cleveland," says Garner.

Venturing outside of Berea will deepen ties to the surrounding community, broaden our audience and invite more people to share in the genius of J.S. Bach.

A Learning Experience for All

Education has been at the heart of the Bach Festival since its inception, and this year is no exception. The BW Motet Choir and Festival Orchestra (comprised of the BW Symphony Orchestra and guest artists directed by Soo Han) will be joined by Westminster Choir and Chatham Baroque for "St. Matthew Passion."

"Westminster Choir College is the hub for choral music and conductor education in the U.S. and is one of the centers of choral music in the world," says Garner.

This collaboration provides world-class educational opportunities for BW students and faculty. "Dr. Joe Miller is among the most influential choral conductors working today. He is a world-class artist, but more, a brilliant teacher. We are honored to sit side-by-side with the students of Westminster and learn from one of the great pedagogues of our time," Garner adds.

Audiences will have the chance to experience the oldest collegiate Bach festival in the nation in a new light and on a new stage April 24-26. For tickets and additional information, visit

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