Arizona Bach Festival Returns To Phoenix

Top instrumentalists and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Quartet to perform Bach masterpieces.

Since its first concert in 2009, the Arizona Bach Festival has become a premiere event showcasing top artists and instrumentalists performing the rich music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The event will be held over three weekends in January at different venues on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. The Arizona Bach Festival is led by Scott Youngs, founder and artistic director, with support from a dedicated board of directors and corps of volunteers.

“Phoenix has blossomed into a city full of music and art. A part of this transformation has come from small arts organizations doing Herculean tasks with few resources. We are one of those organizations. We grew up with little overhead, small viable projects, and found that we were successful beyond our imagining. The people have responded with tremendous support and attendance,” explains Youngs. “This year we present artists who are all from outside the Valley. In all other seasons we have presented at least one concert that focused on the amazing talents here in Arizona. That will always be a hallmark of our efforts in Phoenix, but this year is an exception. Having the opportunity to present Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux and the return of German pianist Kimiko Ishizaka was too good to pass up,” adds Youngs.


Jason Vieaux


Sat., Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Central United Methodist Church, 1875 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

Solo guitarist Jason Vieaux, who won last year’s Grammy for Best Classical Instrument, opens the 2017 Arizona Bach Festival with a performance of Bach’s lute and cello suites. With a reputation as one of the finest guitarists in the world, Vieaux has been featured at every major guitar series on the international scene including Ravinia Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Argentina’s Teatro Colon and performances as a guest soloist with more than 100 symphony orchestras.

Vieaux will perform J.S. Bach’s masterpieces – Lute Suite #1 BWV 996 and Lute Suite # 3 BWV 995, Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro BWV 998 and the Cello Suite #1 BWV 1007.


Michael Hay


Sun., Jan. 15, 3 p.m.
All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 6300 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

Within one year of his graduation from Juilliard, Michael Hey became the Assistant Director of Music and organist of the famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where one of his first major tasks was to perform for masses at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Madison Square Garden for the first visit of Pope Francis in the United States. This young concert organist enjoys a widely varied career, including appearances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center as well as collaborations with New York City Ballet and the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center.

He comes to Arizona to perform an afternoon program of J.S. Bach, including Toccata and Fugue in E major, BWV 566, the Organ Concerto in D minor, BWV 596 and Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, BWV 528.




Sun., Jan. 22, 3 p.m.
Central United Methodist Church, 1875 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

International artist Kimiko Ishizaka returns to the Arizona Bach Festival following her appearance here in 2014. Known for her dazzling interpretation of J.S. Bach, Ishizaka received worldwide attention for her 2012 “Kickstarter” campaign, which enabled her to record Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” She released the recording immediately into the public domain, allowing as many people as possible to experience the piece at no charge. Ishizaka’s interpretations of Bach are “characterized by straightforward musicianship, immaculate technical aplomb” (Gramophone Magazine) with “fleet fingers to speed through the virtuoso variations with compelling clarity and sensitivity.” (Fanfare Magazine)

Her performance at the festival will be a highlight of the month-long event as she performs Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Volume 2.




Sun., Jan. 29, 3 p.m.
All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 6300 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

Known internationally as one of the premiere Chamber Orchestras in the United States, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Quartet comes to Arizona to perform the finale for the 2017 Bach Festival. The Quartet, comprised of Sarah Thornblade (violin), Robert Brophy (viola), Trevor Handy (cello) and Tereza Stanislav (violin), will perform Bach’s “Art of the Fugue,” one of the composer’s final works, left unfinished upon his death in 1750. Bach began to work on “The Art of the Fugue” nearly a decade before his death, leaving no instrumentation for the piece. However, due to its structure as a four-part score, it has become a tradition for string quartets to perform.


Arizona Bach Festival

Jan. 14 – 29

Different venues on Central Avenue, Phoenix.

For more information/tickets, visit

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