Bay Shore to host first-ever "Bach-fest"


The first annual Island Symphony Bach Festival in Bay Shore is set for this Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s By-The-Sea Episcopal Church and will feature a performance by acclaimed violinist Rachell Ellen Wong, winner of the first annual Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition early last month at Stony Brook University.

Wong will perform the Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005, one of J.S. Bach’s most demanding pieces for unaccompanied violin. Wong has been a prize recipient in multiple international string competitions and is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School with a Master of Music in historical performance. She excels at modern violin as well as Baroque violin.

Island Symphony Orchestra and Long Island Symphonic Choral Association conductor Eric R. Stewart expressed excitement, particularly to share the concert with Wong. The orchestra will follow Wong’s performance with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 in D major/D minor.

“We are excited to inaugurate this new annual music festival, which is sure to become a major event on Long Island’s cultural calendar. Music lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to hear a program devoted to the incomparable J.S. Bach and his advocate, Felix Mendelssohn,” Stewart said.

Organist Mark T. Engelhardt of St. Peter’s will open the concert with “St. Anne” Prelude and Fugue BWV 552.

“St. Peter’s, which has a 50-year tradition of presenting world-class musical programs, is proud to host this exciting cultural event,” he said. “I am personally honored to have been asked to play one of Bach's organ masterworks on St. Peter’s world-famous Gress-Miles organ.”

Admission is free, and those in attendance are invited to a post-concert reception featuring a selection of wines and sweets from Germany. In the case of snow, the concert would be pushed one week later, Feb. 2.


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