About the Lexington Bach Festival
A twenty-one year old musical tradition returns to Lexington, Michigan this September with the arrival of the Lexington Bach Festival.
Due to the continued pandemic, the festival presents four concerts featuring outstanding musicians this year, with the expectation that the festival orchestra will return to in 2022.
The festival opens on Thursday in Port Huron's St. Clair County Community College with a varied program of music from Bach to light classics performed by the Festival String Quartet. On Friday, the festival features the return of pianist Mark Markham, in a program ranging from Bach, Ravel and Poulenc to improvisations on selections from the American Songbook. Also returning to Lexington is the extraordinay Brass Quintet from Chicago, Axiom Brass for a program from the 1600's to the present day. Finally, soprano Leah Crocetto returns from her acclaimed Australian debut of Aida to join Mark Markham to conclude the festival. Frequent collaborators, they last performed together in Crocetto's Kennedy Center debut.
Located 80 miles north of Detroit, the village of Lexington is in the Blue Water Thumb Region of Michigan. Each year the Lexington Bach Festival offers residents and visitors to "the first resort north" great music by Johann Sebastian Bach and composers influenced by his works.
The Lexington Bach Festival was founded by violinist, teacher, and musical force of nature, Julia Kurtyka in 2000. Working with Lexington Arts Council, and Festival leadership of Lee Jones, she engaged Don Th. Jaeger as its first music and artistic director. Don Th. Jaeger led the festival for fifteen years, collaborating with artists as diverse as Jazz musician, Chris Brubeck; Concert Violinist, Caroline Goulding and Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster, William Pruecil. When Julia Kurtyka passed away in 2011, her work was continued by Denice Turck and Kay DeLuca. Their devotion to continuing this festival was met with support and cooperation from the Lexington Arts Council. In 2014, Maestro Jaeger stepped down from the position of music director of the Lexington Bach Festival, and John Thomas Dodson was named as his successor.
One of the most unique elements of this music festival is the degree to which it is ingrained into the community of Lexington. The musicians are guests of the community, housed in their homes and celebrated for bringing their gifts of music to enhance the quality of life of the Lexington residents. This special bond with the community has developed into a defining characteristic of the Lexington Bach Festival. Concerts are well attended, the musicians are respected as visiting artists, and individuals. Patrons, local businesses and the Lexington Arts Council continue to provide the annual financial support necessary to make the festival a success.