Happy 333th Birthday, Bach! Celebrating its 21st year, the Bach Around the Clock festival is coming back to town this month at Trinity Episcopal Church. Hosted by the The Trinity Art Series, the annual classical music marathon will begin on Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. The marathon runs 29 hours straight, featuring non-stop classical music performances from both local talent and international musicians alike. 300 performers will be playing in a wide range of styles and covering musicals epochs from 17th century Baroque all the way through to modern tunes of the 20th century. The festival promises to have something for everyone: “from early baroque, to opera, blues, rock, jazz and classical organ, and of course, some Bach, too.”
German-American organist Albinas Prizgintas first organized Bach Around the Clock in 1998. The initial festival lineup featured only the music of J.S. Bach. Gradually, the event evolved to encompass other classical composers, and eventually grew to become a celebration of all styles of music throughout the ages. “Now,” Prizgintas says, we celebrate the birth of Bach and perform everything because he is the father of all music.” Every year, Prizgintas closes the show at midnight with a performance of Bach’s Toccata in D Major. In 2006, NPR wrote a feature on Prizgintas, noting the important role the festival takes on in New Orleans’ unique musical culture.
In addition to surprise musical performances, the festival will feature a diverse range of creative elements including dance, acro-yoga, musical theater, and film. The festival continues all day Saturday, March 24 until midnight.
Past years have included performances from world-renowned musicians including Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Victor Atkins, as well as local choirs, orchestras, and dance troupes.
Attendees are welcome to bring sleeping bags. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.