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Northwest BachFest's September Series 2023

Northwest BachFest Artistic Director and cellist Zuill Bailey in the SPR lobby
Savanna Rothe
Spokane Public Radio
Northwest BachFest Artistic Director and cellist Zuill Bailey in the SPR lobby

BachFest Artistic Director Zuill Bailey talks Catalyst Quartet concerts and Yom Kippur

Cellist and Northwest BachFest Artistic Director Zuill Bailey entered the KPBX studio to speak with E.J. Iannelli about the Bachfest's trio of September Series concerts this weekend.

In observation of Yom Kippur (Sept. 24), at the cellist's request, the interview opened with a recording of Bailey playing Ernest Bloch's "Prayer" from the composer's 1924 work titled “From Jewish Life."

After talking about the piece, Bailey detailed this weekend's concerts featuring the Catalyst Quartet. The ensemble currently includes Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello.

On Friday (Sept. 22) evening, Bailey and Catalyst will perform a free concert with an ad hoc setlist at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture. On Saturday (Sept. 23) evening, the venue will move to Barrister Winery, where Catalyst will perform a version of Bach's entire Goldberg Variations adapted for strings. The work was chosen specifically to mark BachFest's 50th anniversary.

For the final September Series concert on Sunday (Sept. 24), Bailey will rejoin Catalyst for the infrequently performed String Quintet in A minor, Op. 39 by Alexsander Glazunov. The program also includes a quartet by Haydn along with bite-sized contemporary works by living composers, such as Kishi Bashi, Jessie Montgomery, Angelica Negrón and Caroline Shaw.

The close of the interview returned to the theme of Yom Kippur with another recording of Bailey performing "Kol Nidrei" by Max Bruch. When composing this piece in 1881, Bruch drew inspiration from the Jewish cantor during Yom Kippur ceremonies. Both recorded performances are from Bailey's 2019 album with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Robin O’Neill conducting.

Details about this weekend's September Series of BachFest concerts and ticket information for the Barrister Winery events are available at the Northwest BachFest website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director