Musicians from the Chicago area’s Bach Week Festival will give a free public performance of music by German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach from 12:30 to 12:45 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, in the skylit lobby of Chicago’s historic Rookery Building, 209 S. LaSalle Street.
Conducted by Bach Week’s music director Richard Webster, an ensemble of about 20 choristers plus cellist Mark Brandfonbrener and double bassist Collins Trier — both members of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra — and keyboard artist Jason Moy will perform Bach’s motet "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied" (Sing to the Lord a new song), BWV 225, composed around 1727.
The pop-up concert, organized by Webster, is part of the 2018 international Bach in the Subways project, March 21–25, a grassroots movement to promote classical music through free concerts in public spaces on or around Bach’s March 21 birthday. About 100 cities will be hosting performances this season, which marks the 333rd anniversary of Bach’s birth.
All Bach in the Subway performances worldwide are free to the public, and performing artists donate their services.
According to the organization’s website, bachinthesubways.org, "The primary purpose of Bach in the Subways is to bring live Bach to as many people around the world as possible – especially to those who would not normally hear it.” Bach in the Subways dates to 2010, when cellist Dale Henderson began performing Bach’s solo Cello Suites in the subways of New York City.
The Rookery was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972 after being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Designed by architects Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root, the Rookery was originally completed in 1888. Frank Lloyd Wright redesigned the two-story lobby in 1905.
The Bach Week Festival, founded in Evanston, Ill., in 1974, is one of the Midwest’s premiere Baroque music events. The festival enlists musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, and other top-tier ensembles, while featuring some of the Chicago area’s finest instrumental and vocal soloists and distinguished guest artists from out of town.
The 45th annual Bach Week Festival will run from April 27 to May 4, 2018, at locations in Evanston and Chicago. More information at bachweek.org.