by Sarah Squires
On October 26, 2014, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Bach Society of Minnesota (BSM) first introduced itself to the Winona community. In the comfortable and acoustically friendly sanctuary of Winona’s Central Lutheran Church, Baroque and jazz music lovers welcomed BSM’s annual Bach and Jazz Concert, which explored the commonality between these two musical genres. BSM’s Baroque trio collaborated with the jazz trio Framework to present new twists on some Baroque and jazz standards. Winona musicians Lawrence Price on piano and John Paulson on sax and flute joined the musical celebration to make it a truly exciting introduction on both sides of the stage.
On January 18, 2015, at 3 p.m., the Bach Society will come back to Winona’s Central Lutheran Church, 259 West Wabasha Street, to present a concert they have titled Now Boarding. Tickets, available at the door or online, are $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+), and $5 for students. Call 651-428-5170 to reserve a ticket, or buy online at www.bachsocietymn.org and click on purchase tickets.
This all Bach concert explores through music the lives of traveling soloists in the 18th century. When we hear the words, “Now boarding,” it can conjure up the excitement of adventure and discovery. For these 18th century musicians, travel meant uncomfortable vehicles with little protection from the elements and extraordinary fares.
The program includes some of Bach’s most exciting and challenging solo literature. Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano, will be featured on two solo cantatas. “Cantata 82a, Ich habe genug (I Have Enough),” features soprano and Baroque flute, played by Immanuel Davis. “Cantata 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (Praise God in all the Lands),” pairs solo soprano with Baroque trumpet, played by Robert Rieder.
The fifth Brandenburg Concerto features flute, violin and harpsichord as soloists. (Paul Boehnke, BSM artistic director, harpsichord; Jin Kim, Baroque violin and Immanuel Davis, Baroque flute are soloists.)
Rounding out the program is Bach’s “Trio Sonata For Flute and Violin.” A trio sonata is written for two solo melodic instruments and basso continuo, making three parts in all, hence the name trio sonata. Basso continuo parts, almost universal in the Baroque era, provide the harmonic structure of the music. Because the basso continuo is usually made up of at least two instruments, here the harpsichord and Baroque cello, performances of trio sonatas typically involve at least four musicians. Soloists Jin Kim, Baroque violin, and Immanuel Davis, Baroque flute, join forces with harpsichordist Paul Boehnke and Baroque cellist Julie Elhard to bring this exquisite music to the audience.
The mission of the Bach Society of Minnesota is to build a diverse community with a passion for performing, promoting, and appreciating the music of J.S. Bach. The group does this by presenting high quality performances of music by Bach and his colleagues.
The performers have all studied the style and techniques of the Baroque and perform on historically authentic instruments. This means that the concerts present the music in the manner and with the sound that is believed to be what Bach had in mind when he composed. With commentary from the artistic director that is informative and fun, the concerts are far from dryly academic.
The Bach Society, centered in St. Paul, is actively seeking a connection with the Winona community. This strong cultural community is a perfect place for the Bach Society to expand as it strives to become the Bach Society of Minnesota.
Jin Kim, Baroque violin, native of Korea, studied with Hae-Yup Yang until she graduated from Seoul National University, School of Music. She came to America to pursue further study in violin performance under the renowned violinist Ruggiero Ricci at the University of Michigan where she received master’s degrees in both violin performance and ensemble.
She has been appearing as a soloist and an ensemble player in Asia, Europe, and the United States. She founded the Baroque ensemble Musica Glorifica in 2002, which endeavors to recreate Baroque repertoires with fresh inspiration and spiritual depth.
In 2011 Jin performed with the Bach Society of Minnesota, and was so moved by the level of musicianship that she relocated to the Twin Cities where she has been a frequent soloist and section leader.
Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano, 2010 McKnight Artist Fellow, brings a sense of adventure and style to the concert stage as a passionate interpreter of Baroque and contemporary repertoire. Acclaimed as a “major musical force” (St. Paul Pioneer Press), for her “flawless vocal agility” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “plangeant intensity” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Shaw collaborates with organizations across the country, such as Boston Early Music Festival, The Newberry Consort, LIBER, dal Niente New Music, Ensemble 61, Zeitgeist and the Bach Society of Minnesota. Shaw has given numerous world and U.S. premieres, most recently the U.S. premiere of the celebrated French composer Phillippe Hurel’s “Cantus.”
Flutist Immanuel Davis is a highly versatile performer who enjoys playing the entire span of the flute repertoire on the era-appropriate instruments. He has performed as a recitalist and master class teacher worldwide, including in Tokyo and at Gloppen Musikkfest in Sandane, Norway, where he was also principal flutist for the festival orchestra. He has appeared as a recitalist and chamber musician at Weill Recital hall at Carnegie Hall, MoMa’s Summer Garden Series, Noonday Concerts at Trinity Church, and the Meet the Virtuoso series at the 92nd St Y. Orchestral work has included performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Riverside Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Jupiter Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic. Mr. Davis has also played on Broadway in “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Show Boat” and “Ragtime,” among others. In 2005, Immanuel was a recipient of a Fulbright Grant for study of baroque flute and performance practice with Wilbert Hazelzet at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague.
Trumpeter Robert Rieder has appeared with many of North America’s leading period instrument groups, including Tafelmusik (Toronto), the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra (Washington, DC), Apollo’s Fire (The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra), The City Musick, Basically Bach (Chicago), and Ars Musica (Ann Arbor). He has been solo trumpet with the Lyra Concert (St. Paul), of which he is a founding member, since 1985.
As harpsichordist, organist, and conductor, Paul Boehnke specializes in the performance of Baroque music. In 2007 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Bach Society of Minnesota. With that organization Mr. Boehnke leads professional performances of the music of J. S. Bach and Bach’s colleagues. Mr. Boehnke’s performances include appearances at the National Music Museum, Chatanooga Chamber Music in San Francisco, the joint conference of the Southeast, Midwest, and Western Early Keyboard Societies, Madison Early Music Festival, Tucson Early Music Society, numerous appearances at the University of Minnesota’s Bach Festival, as well as concerts in Denmark. He has performed with the Newberry Consort, Second City Music, and the Lyra Baroque Orchestra. Mr. Boehnke has led masterclasses locally and as far away as Seoul, South Korea. He has recorded for Centaur Records.