Gen Z at Old First Concerts
The 70th Junior Bach Festival
An all-J. S. Bach concert showcasing fabulous young soloists and ensembles
Enjoy J. S. Bach’s timeless music as performed by talented Gen Z soloists and ensembles! The Junior Bach Festival’s 70th annual concert series showcases musicians under age 21 who have been selected through professionally adjudicated auditions. Junior Bach’s virtuosic young performers convey the genius and breadth of Bach’s compositions.
Founded in Berkeley in 1953 and maintaining a presence there, the Junior Bach Festival is a well-respected Nonprofit institution long dedicated to touching young lives through the study and performance of J. S. Bach’s music. An extensive collection of Junior Bach memorabilia, including folios of press releases, photos, and concert programs, is curated by the Jean Hargrove Music Library at UC Berkeley. There, you may discover how the Festival has been integral to the music community in the Bay Area and beyond. For example, in 1965, the California State Assembly issued an official proclamation in the Festival’s honor! Musical luminaries such as Leontyne Price and John Nakamatsu have performed in the Festival, and many Junior Bach alumni have pursued local and international musical careers.
The Junior Bach Festival has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Close to 500 students now apply to the Festival’s auditions. In the past decade, the Festival has offered annual community dance and music workshops, lectures, and masterclasses that help draw connections from Bach’s time to our own in collaboration with organizations such as Bach-Archiv Leipzig, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Voices of Music, New York Baroque Dance Company, and Dance Through Time—and in collaborations with scholars, dancers, and musicians such as Bonnie Hampton, Bruce Lamott, Catherine Turocy, and Christoph Wolff, and Jen Meller. In the past two years, the San Francisco Early Music Society has graciously invited Junior Bach musicians to perform in its public Salon Concerts. Other public Festival offerings include our performer’s participation in the international Bach in the Subway movement and access to past Festival performances on a special YouTube channel.
The Junior Bach Festival is grateful to the City of Berkeley for awarding the Festival Berkeley Arts Recovery Grants. Additional information about the Junior Bach Festival may be found on the organization’s website, http://www.juniorbach.org/.