News « Bach Festival Society
April 16, 2015

Commission in honor of John V. Sinclair’s 25 years with Bach Festival Society of Winter Park


Paul Moravec and Terry Teachout accept commission to write Music, Awake! in honor of John V. Sinclair’s 25 years with Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

(Orlando, FL—) Bach Festival Society of Winter Park is pleased to announce the commissioning of a new work in celebration of conductor and artistic director John V. Sinclair’s 25th anniversary with the Society. The piece, titled Music, Awake!, with music by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Paul Moravec and words by distinguished author Terry Teachout, celebrates the universal power of music. It will be premiered during concerts with the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra on April 16 and 17, 2016. Terry Teachout and Paul Moravec are experienced collaborators, having premiered three operas in recent years for companies such as The Santa Fe Opera and Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater.

Paul Moravec, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed numerous orchestral, chamber, lyric, and operatic works. Frequently commissioned by notable ensembles and major music institutions, Mr. Moravec’s current project is The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel, which will be premiering at Minnesota Opera in 2016. A graduate of Harvard and Columbia universities, Moravec is University Professor at Adelphi University and recently served as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome. Other honors include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and election to the American Philosophical Society. Recent CD releases include four albums on Naxos and an album of orchestral music on BMOP Sound titled Northern Lights Electric. His website is and his works are published by

“I am delighted to be commissioned by the Bach Festival Society for this special anniversary and to be collaborating with my prodigiously talented friend Terry Teachout, with whom I’ve composed three operas,” says Moravec. “We intend Music Awake! to be not only a tribute to John Sinclair and the Festival but an homage to all who dedicate their lives to the miraculous art of music.”

Terry Teachout is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of “Sightings,” a biweekly column for the Friday Journal about the arts in America. His books include Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, Pops: The Life of Louis Armstrong, All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, and A Terry Teachout Reader. He served on the National Council on the Arts from 2004 to 2010. Teachout’s first play, Satchmo at the Waldorf, had a successful off-Broadway run in 2014. Originally written and workshopped at Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute, it has also been produced in Lenox, New Haven, Orlando, and Philadelphia and will be staged next season by San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, Chicago’s Court Theatre, and Palm Beach Dramaworks.

“John Sinclair and I go back a long, long way,” says Teachout. “We went to college together, and I owe an immense debt of gratitude to him for the close relationship that I’ve developed in recent years with the Bach Festival and Rollins College. So it means the world to me that Paul and I should have been invited to write a piece in honor of John’s great musical achievements with the Bach Festival. He’s a first-class artist and the best of all possible colleagues. Our work couldn’t be in better hands.”

Dr. John V. Sinclair was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park in 1990. Under his tenure, the Bach Festival Choir has achieved international recognition by touring extensively in Europe, producing nationally released CDs, and performing with the London Symphony Orchestra during its Florida residencies. Musically he is known for creative interpretations, an expressive conducting style, and innovative programming.

Dr. Sinclair is one of Florida’s most visible musicians. In addition to his work with the Bach Festival Society, Sinclair conducts the Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional at EPCOT, directs the Moravian Music Festivals, and participates in recording projects for the Walt Disney Corporation and other entertainment companies. He conducts over 100 performances each year, including appearances as conductor, clinician, or lecturer throughout the United States and overseas, including conducting a principal mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

“To be involved in a commission and the subsequent first performance of a new piece is unto itself an exciting adventure,” said Sinclair. “But when the new composition is written by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Paul Moravec with text by award-winning author Terry Teachout, the journey has now made the turn to exhilarating. I can promise the musicians and the audience alike are in for a profoundly emotional and intellectual experience. It doesn’t get any better than this: conducting a premier of a work from these two creative minds.”

This commission is the third for the Bach Festival Society, which is committed to continuing the musical legacy of J.S. Bach through a variety of musical avenues. The Society worked with Jaron Lanier to premiere Symphony for Amelia in 2010. The Society also commissioned a short piece composed by Vijay Iyer that was premiered to Orange County students in 2012 by string quartet Brooklyn Rider and recorded by the quartet.

Photos are available for download at

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February 25, 2015

Bach Festival Society releases Mozart Requiem recording

Bach Festival Society releases Mozart Requiem recording

The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Artistic Director John V. Sinclair, is pleased to announce the release of its first recording of Mozart’s Requiem, featuring the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. The recording, made in conjunction with the Society’s fall 2014 performances, will be available at Bach Festival events and can be ordered from the Society’s website at

Building on the success of the group’s last release, All Is Bright: A Choral Christmas, this CD showcases over 220 artists from Central Florida and surrounding communities. Nationally prominent soloists who performed with the society are highlighted in the recording: Sharla Nafziger, soprano; Adriana Zabala, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Weeks, tenor; and Michael Dean, bass.

Audio mastering engineer Bob Katz praised the Mozart recording for its “immediacy, depth, and impact.” Katz has mastered three Grammy Award–winning albums and one Grammy-nominated album. He added, “The result is a holistic entity, an audiophile-quality sonic experience of a wonderful work and performance that I highly recommend.”

The Bach Festival Society is releasing the recording during the 80th Winter Park Bach Festival, the Society’s flagship annual event, which draws music lovers from around the nation and beyond to three weekends of choral, orchestral, and organ programs along with a number of educational, social, and enrichment events each winter. The Society is also celebrating 25 years under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor John V. Sinclair.

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January 7, 2015

Bach and Beer

Join the Bach Festival Society and Cask & Larder Brewmasters, Garrett Ward and Larry Foor, for the release of a limited-edition beer, Brandenburger Bock, brewed for the 80th Annual Bach Festival. Featuring German music, this event will be popular with music lovers and beer lovers alike.

There is no charge to attend this event. Beer and Cask & Larder’s usual offerings will be available for purchase.

This Cask and Larder Bock Beer comes closest to resembling the beer of Bach’s time. In the ancient bock tradition, the dark-colored craft brew is released in time for springtime celebrations. J. S. Bach enjoyed life enormously, and this certainly included beer drinking; in fact, he was often paid in beer.

Cask and Larder is a southern inspired brew pub located in Winter Park that opened its doors in early September 2012. C&L offers southern-sourced seasonal dishes, craft beers brewed on-site, and fresh-shucked oysters from their oyster bar. Brandenburger Bock will be available to take home in to-go crowlers (canned versions of beer growlers.

December 9, 2014

Jeremy Denk Program Announced

Award-winning Pianist Jeremy Denk To Perform on Bach Festival Society 80th Anniversary Season

(Orlando, FL–) The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Artistic Director John V. Sinclair, announced the appearance of pianist Jeremy Denk, one of America’s most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling musical artists, on its first Visiting Artists Series performance in 2015 as part of the 80th anniversary season. The January 30 program will feature Mozart’s Rondo in A Minor, K. 511; Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109; and J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, BWV 988.

Denk received a 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship for showing exceptional creativity and promise, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and the Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London. The New York Times praised his talent: “”Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, in whatever combination—both for his penetrating intellectual engagement with the music and for the generosity of his playing.”

Denk’s album, Bach: Goldberg Variations, reached number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart and was featured in “Best of 2013” lists by the New Yorker magazine and The New York Times. Denk will include the Goldberg Variations in his Winter Park performance.

Known for their originality and insight, Denk’s articles have appeared in the New Yorker, the New RepublicThe Guardian, and on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. One of Denk’s New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir he is writing for publication by Random House, recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing. His blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives. For his work as a writer and pianist, Out magazine included Denk on its “Out 100” list celebrating the most compelling people of 2013.

Jeremy Denk has earned degrees from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his website and blog are at

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