A rare opportunity to build on more than eight decades of musical excellence, rooted in the genius of Bach and enriched by the work of other composers, by collaborating with and inspiring the talented and passionate musicians of the Festival Orchestra and Chorale, in beautiful coastal California, with a strong base of devoted patrons and a solid financial foundation. The Festival is known for its world-class performances of Baroque music in a historically-informed style; the repertoire has also expanded to include a wide range of musical styles, from medieval to newly-commissioned works.
The Role of the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
The Carmel Bach Festival, which runs for a four-week period in July of each year, is seeking an Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2020. A limited number of finalists will be selected by mid-2021 and invited to conduct at the 2022 Festival, after which a final decision will be made by the Festival’s Board of Directors. The formal engagement will begin immediately, and the new Artistic Director and Principal Conductor’s first priority will be to plan the 2023 Festival and present a longer-term artistic vision covering multiple future seasons.
The Artistic Director and Principal Conductor reports to the Board President and serves as the artistic head of the Festival, providing overall artistic vision and leadership and ensuring artistic excellence. He/she plays a major role in selecting Core Musicians, when openings occur, and guest artists, and also plays a leading part in the Festival’s audience development, fundraising, and community engagement activities.
The Artistic Director and Principal Conductor leads the creation of the annual and long-term artistic plan for the Festival in collaboration with the Festival’s Artistic Leadership Team. He/she conducts the Festival Orchestra and Festival Chorale on most Main Concerts. The Associate Conductor typically conducts at least one Main Concert each Season, and guest conductors may also be invited from time to time.
The Artistic Director and Principal Conductor collaborates with the full-time Executive Director and administrative staff in optimizing the Festival’s year-round community engagement activities, music education, and crossover programming, as well as Festival production and operational matters (such as repertoire, instrumentation, rehearsal and performance schedules).
The Artistic Leadership Team and the Musicians
The Festival’s Artistic Leadership Team comprises the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor; Andrew Megill, Associate Conductor, Director of the Festival Chorale and Chorus; Peter Hanson, Concertmaster, Director of the Monday Main Concert; Allen Whear, Principal Cello, Chamber Music Director; Andrew Arthur, Principal Keyboard, Director of Twilight in the Cathedral; Michael Beattie, Keyboardist, Virginia Best Adams Masterclass (Vocal) Director; and Edwin Huizinga, Violinist, Baroque and Classical Academy (Strings) Director.
The Festival Orchestra and Chorale are ideally sized for Baroque and Classical repertoire, with 60 core instrumental musicians and 24 professional Chorale members. The Festival Chorus, a volunteer ensemble of 40 community vocalists, augments the Chorale in larger-scale works.
The Festival season is relatively short, but the quality of musicianship enables truly insightful world-class performances of the great Bach works that appear in rotation every season as well as other Baroque and Classical works.
Many of the Festival Musicians are equally capable with historical and modern instrument and vocal performance practices. Thus, they can bridge the gap from the essential Bach to the large-scale 19th and 20th century repertoire, adapted for the Musicians and the 700-seat Sunset Theater, as well as to newly commissioned works.
The members of the Festival Orchestra include many leading experts in the music of the 18th century. Players include directors, concertmasters, principals, and members of the English Baroque Soloists, The English Concert, The Hanover Band, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Taverner Players, London Classical Players, Les Arts Florissants, Bach Collegium Japan, Musica Eterna Brugge, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Emmanuel Music (Boston), Philharmonia Baroque, Atlanta Baroque, Chatham Baroque, American Bach Soloists, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, and many other highly-regarded national and international ensembles.
The Festival Chorale, the professional choir, is equally talented, with singers who regularly perform with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street (New York), Clarion, Tenet, Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Western Wind, Bang-on-a-Can All Stars, Ascension Music, the Choir of Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue (New York), and Roomful of Teeth. Chorale members have sung as soloists with all these ensembles, as well as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra under the batons of Ozawa, Hogwood, Glover, Spano, Honeck, and others.
Biographies of the Artistic Leadership Team, vocal soloists, Orchestra members, Chorale and Chorus members can be found under the drop-down tab under About Us on BachFestival.org.
In addition to their expertise in performing the music of the Baroque and Classical periods, the Festival Musicians have demonstrated great versatility in performances of works by composers ranging from Beethoven and Mendelssohn to Wagner, Orff, Stravinsky, Ligeti, Vaughan Williams, John Adams, and commissions by Caroline Shaw, Corigliano, Turnage, and film composer Mark Mancina.
About the Carmel Bach Festival
2021 will mark the Festival’s 83rd season, making it the longest-running music festival in California. The natural beauty of its setting in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the quality of its performances, the quantity and variety of its concerts, and the loyalty and generosity of its patrons are all hallmarks of the Festival. The company of over 100 exceptional professional instrumental and vocal musicians from North America and Europe and the warm personal relationships between patrons and musicians are defining characteristics of the Festival.
The Festival’s inception in 1935 coincided with Johann Sebastian Bach’s 250th birthday, and the founders envisioned Carmel-by-the-Sea becoming an epicenter of world-class music, art, and cultural expression. The founders were inspired to use Bach’s name to give the new classical music festival a distinct identity, and his music is featured prominently alongside a wide range of repertoire designed to appeal to an increasingly diverse audience.
The quantity and variety of concerts is a key feature. The Festival presents approximately 40 events during its 15-day performance season. There are Main Concerts every evening and several Chamber Music Concerts every day, which range in size from solo recitals to mid-sized ensembles. Additional events include outreach concerts, a family concert, a community concert, and free Tower Brass ensemble performances before Main Concerts.
During its performance season, the Festival offers two programs that provide coaching and performance opportunities for rising young musicians selected by national competitions:
- The Virginia Best Adams Master Class, directed by Michael Beattie, is a Baroque training program for vocalists (SATB). They join the Festival in July and receive private coaching from the resident and guest artists as well as performance opportunities. Six working sessions are open to the public. The singers join the Chorale for selected Main Concerts, and there is a special Showcase Concert on the last day of the Festival.
- The Baroque and Classical Academy, directed by Edwin Huizinga, is a training program for a string quartet. This Academy provides training from the Festival’s musicians as well as performance opportunities with the Festival Orchestra. The quartet members serve as artists-in-residence and musical ambassadors to the community through outreach concerts and offer a Showcase Concert during the Festival’s closing week. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the initial Academy had to be cancelled. The Festival plans to launch this program in 2021.
The performance season is a lively and festive environment for making and enjoying outstanding music.
Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Monterey Peninsula Venues
The corporate structure consists of two related nonprofit entities. Carmel Bach Festival, Inc. (CBF) manages the Carmel Bach Festival. CBF is managed by a 24-person Board of Directors and has several committees that provide strategic direction in areas such as Development, Community Engagement, and Finance. CBF has a full-time administrative staff of 6 professionals, augmented by seasonal and part-time staff.
The second entity, Carmel Bach Festival Foundation, Inc. (CBFF) manages the Festival’s $6 million Endowment Fund. CBFF is managed by a 9-person Board of Directors with expertise in finance and investments. CBFF has retained Monterey Private Wealth as investment manager. The Endowment Fund is invested conservatively to maintain its value over the very long term and also to generate enough income to make an annual distribution to CBF to support the Festival.
Since 2016, under the current management team and Boards of Directors, the Festival has made significant strides in building a strong and sustainable financial position. A structural deficit was eliminated, ticket sales increased 18%, community support rose 35% and, thanks to a major transformational gift and prudent investment management, the Festival’s Endowment doubled in value to just over $6 million.
Structure and Financial Information
The corporate structure consists of two related nonprofit entities. Carmel Bach Festival, Inc. (CBF) manages the Carmel Bach Festival. CBF is managed by a 24-person Board of Directors and has several committees that provide strategic direction in areas such as Development, Community Engagement and Finance. CBF has a full-time administrative staff of 6 professionals, augmented by seasonal and part- time staff.
The second entity, Carmel Bach Festival Foundation, Inc. (CBFF) manages the Festival’s $6 million Endowment Fund. CBFF is managed by a 9-person Board of Directors with expertise in finance and investments. CBFF has retained Monterey Private Wealth as investment manager. The Endowment Fund is invested conservatively to maintain its value over the very long term, and also to generate enough income to make an annual distribution to CBF to support the Festival.
Since 2016, under the current management team and Board, the Festival has made significant strides in building a strong and sustainable financial position. A structural deficit was eliminated, ticket sales increased 18%, community support rose 35% and, thanks to a major transformational gift and prudent investment management, the Festival’s Endowment doubled in value to just over $6 million.
Please submit a comprehensive cover letter, resume and several audio-visual samples to email@example.com by 5pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, November 30, 2020. Please include at least one example, ideally a Bach work, demonstrating your comfort with historically-informed Baroque style, and at least one example illustrating the breadth of your repertoire and musical taste which, in combination, indicate your readiness for this important career opportunity.
In your cover letter, please address all aspects of your background and experience that best describe how you match the following criteria:
- A strong, established professional reputation at national or international level.
- Substantial experience leading highly rated, large-scale vocal and orchestral performances.
- A progressive conducting career including both guest and principal conductor roles, with strong connections to other talented performers and conductors.
- Deep experience in and knowledge of Baroque and period repertoire and instruments and a willingness to embrace later repertoire, modern instruments, diverse/crossover. programming and guest conductors or artists with broad audience appeal.
- A collaborative, systematic, and deadline-sensitive approach to working with other key contributors in generating repertoire and programing concepts which earn audience support and attract new audience members.
- Experience with planning complex, multi-venue programs optimizing the value and talents of the available musicians and the logistics of production and venues.
- Willingness and ability to engage and interact comfortably with existing and potential patrons, sponsors, and musicians in formal and informal settings.
- Willingness and ability to spend the full 4+ week duration of the Festival in Carmel each year and to make occasional, scheduled, visits to the area for promotional and/or planning purposes.
- Ability to handle communication and administrative work efficiently, using generally available digital technology.
- Experience in the planning, production, and distribution of high-quality digital performances.
The Search Committee will review every submission and contact you regarding your status and next steps in the process by December 31, 2020.
Thank you very much for your interest in the Carmel Bach Festival.