Familiar Feelings Artistic Director Zuill Bailey Calls on Old Friends for BachFest 2019

By Podplesky, Azaria | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), March 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

Familiar Feelings Artistic Director Zuill Bailey Calls on Old Friends for BachFest 2019


Podplesky, Azaria, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)


This year's Northwest BachFest will be a double reunion for artistic director Zuill Bailey.

He'll reunite with pianist Yuliya Gorenman, with whom he attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and with cellist Jennifer Morsches, with whom he performed in a youth symphony.

This year's BachFest opens at St. John's Cathedral on Sunday with Gorenman's Bach Extravaganza, a complete performance of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I.

After leaving Peabody, Bailey kept up with Gorenman's work, and about seven years ago, the pair reconnected while performing together in a Beethoven concert at the Washington Performing Arts Society in Washington D.C.

"This made realize how much I missed our friendship and hearing her play all of those years, so I began incorporating her with all of her many amazing projects in as many things that I could," Bailey said.

Since then, Bailey and Gorenman, who Bailey said is a larger-than-life personality and performer, have performed as a duo, and he's presented her in her solo piano recitals.

After inviting Gorenman to come to BachFest, Bailey gave her free rein to perform whatever she liked.

Gorenman picked J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, a collection of pieces Bailey said were mostly created as studies for pianists, not necessarily for public consumption.

"I've also witnessed Yuliya do this several times already in concert and it's an extraordinary journey to witness," he said. "I would use the word 'hypnotic' to describe this. You go into this strange, interesting, mystical place in your own being listening to this that no other composer can do to you other than Bach, that I've witnessed."

Prior to Gorenman's performance, violinist Yvette Kraft, 16, will perform from the Bach Partita No. 1, Allemande and Double, and Sarabande and Double, at 2:40 p.m. as part of Overture, BachFest's student initiative.

The festival continues Tuesday at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Hotel with a performance of Gorenman's arrangement for piano of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade."

Gorenman will perform "Scheherazade" again on Wednesday at Barrister Winery.

"Being Russian, this is her 29th anniversary this year of her coming to the USA, and she's so thrilled to celebrate each year and her life in America but also, of course, always remembering and reflecting on her heritage," Bailey said. "No one plays 'Scheherazade' for solo piano because she made the transcription. It's going to be extraordinary for everyone."

On Thursday, BachFest moves to the Hagadone Event Center for the B-A-C-H Prism with the Richter String Ensemble.

The ensemble - violinists Rodolfo Richter and Rebecca Huber, violist Julia Kuhn and cellist Morsches - will perform Bach's final piece, Art of the Fugue, interlaced with brief Bach-inspired "musical wavelengths" from composers Luciano Berio, Henri Dutilleux and Krzysztof Penderecki. …

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