Main Concerts

Our 2019 season (below) concluded July 27. We will post our 2020 season in late January.

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Opening Night – In The Beginning

Saturdays, July 13 & 20, 2019, 7:30 PM

Orchestra, Chorale, Chorus and Soloists conducted by Paul Goodwin

Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation, majestically opens the 82nd Carmel Bach Festival. The performances feature the Festival’s entire company of musicians and will be sung in a Haydn-approved English translation. The Creation appeals on so many levels: It is complex and intricate, yet highly accessible. It is spiritual, but profoundly human. It’s is Haydn’s great expression of gratitude to God, but also a lasting gift to humankind.

Bach and Shakespeare

Sundays, July 14 & 21, 2019, 4:00 PM

Orchestra, Chorale, Chorus and Soloists conducted by Paul Goodwin

Two titans of Western culture—J.S. Bach and William Shakespeare—are paired in this program. The first two cantatas of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio open the relaxing and pastoral afternoon. The second half of the program is Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with actress Francesca Faridany providing Shakespeare’s narration.


Mondays, July 15 & 22, 2019, 7:30 PM

Featuring Concertmaster Peter Hanson with members of the Festival Orchestra

Monday’s program stretches the imagination. The concert presents the neo-Baroque classic Holberg Suite by Grieg, and Shaker Loops by John Adams. The suite from Psycho, composed by Bernard Herrmann begins a second half dedicated to great film music. Other movie classics include  John Williams’s haunting violin solo from Schindler’s List and Elgar’s “Nimrod,” which was used in the movie “Dunkirk,” as well as music from “Concerning Hobbits.”

Saints and Sinners

Tuesdays, July 16 & 23, 2019, 7:30 PM

Orchestra, Chorale, Chorus, Soloists conducted by Paul Goodwin
Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

“All opera is about saints, sinners, seducers, victims and death! In this evening of drama and excitement we present four contrasting operas that show elements of all these traits that make opera so compelling,” – Paul Goodwin

Christmas at the Mission

Wednesdays, July 17 & 24, 2019, 8:30 PM

Orchestra and Chorale conducted by Andrew Megill

The Christmas Oratorio’s third and final cantatas comprise the major portion of the annual Carmel Mission Basilica concerts. Interlaced with the two cantatas are Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Seven Magnificat Antiphons, a stunning a cappella work that is are meditative, trance-like, and transcendent.

The Frozen North – Folk and Baroque from Scandinavia

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 7:30 PM – One Performance Only

Edwin Huizinga, violin and William Coulter, guitar, known as Fire & Grace, return after sold-out concerts in 2017 and 2018. The duo is joined by renowned Swedish nyckelharpa virtuoso Olov Johansson, foremost performer on the traditional Swedish instrument called the NyckelHarpa. This unique program include’s traditional and contemporary Scandinavian folk music and songs, and a blending of Baroque and Swedish dance tunes.

Signs and Seasons

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 7:30 PM – One Performance Only

Carmel Bach Festival Chorale conducted by Andrew Megill

The Bach Festival Chorale takes the stage for an evening of music inspired by the seasons. The program is about the creation story, especially the markers of time (sun, moon, and stars, and the seasons of the year). The program ranges from Medieval secular song to Brahms to an avant-garde piece about the sun, with Copland’s choral masterpiece as a centerpiece.

Guitar Hero

Fridays, July 19 & 26, 2019, 7:30 PM

Orchestra conducted by Paul Goodwin, Jason Vieaux, guitar
Rossini’s William Tell Overture depicts the opera’s Swiss Alps location and concludes with its famous “Lone Ranger” finale. Two guitar works are next—Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Hollywood film composer/Carmel resident Mark Mancina’s “Suite in Three Movements” based his movie scores.  The soloist is Jason Vieaux, a Grammy-winning artist. The concert concludes with Beethoven’s sunny Fourth Symphony.

Best of the Fest

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 7:30 PM

Favorite selections from the Festival are performed in this closing night concert that celebrates music, Carmel, the musicians of the Bach Festival, and the Festival’s loyal patrons. The program is a sampler of musician and audience favorites from throughout the two-week Festival.

Chamber Concerts

The Kings Trumpeter

Monday, July 8, 2019, 7:30 PM

Organ and Trumpet Recital — This performance features two Baroque masters performing in beautiful Carmel Valley. Principal trumpet Robert Farley and principal keyboardist Andrew Arthur present “The King’s Trumpeter.” The title is taken from the name originally given to the head trumpeter, retained by the King, whose job it was to signal the attack. St. Dunstan’s beautiful sanctuary and Dobson pipe organ will host this entertaining evening.

All Bach Organ Recital

Mondays, July 15 & 22, 2019, 11:00 AM

Andrew Arthur is the principal keyboardist and director of the Twilight in the Cathedral concerts. He is the director of music at Trinity Hall in Cambridge, England, the associate director of the Hanover Band, principal conductor of the Euterpe Baroque Consort and musical director of Orpheus Britannicus. His annual recitals at the iconic Carmel Mission Basilica are highlights of the chamber concert schedule.

Christmas at All Saints

Mondays, July 15 & 22, 2019, 2:30 PM

After the celebratory opening cantatas are performed on Sunday Afternoons at Sunset Center, parts IV and V will be staged at All Saints Church on Monday Afternoons. This is the best opportunity to hear the Festival’s four vocal soloists in an intimate setting, accompanied by a small Baroque ensemble under the direction of Andrew Arthur.

English Ayres for the Theatre

Tuesdays, July 16 & 23, 2019, 2:30 PM

Music by Henry Purcell, Daniel Purcell and John Eccles

A Century of Venice

Wednesdays, July 17 & 24, 2019, 2:30 PM

Music by Marini, Fontana, Rosenmüller, Castello, Gabrielli, and of course Antonio Vivaldi!

Five to Fandango

Fridays, July 19 & 26, 2019, 2:30 PM

Music by Haydn, Rossini, and Boccherini

Family Concert

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 11:00 AM

The Epic Adventures of Leonard and Rasmus: Flying off the Handel

Now in its sixth year, the intrepid duo of Leonard and Rasmus take listeners of all ages on an action-packed whirlwind of musical experiences set in an engaging story line. Leonard and Rasmus explore the vast world of insects and bee-eautiful bugs through music, science, and amusing puns and tales.

Young Artists’ Showcase

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 2:30 PM

The Carmel Bach Festival Young Artists Competition recognizes talented young musicians from the Central Coast. This showcase presents accomplished young soloists, pianists, instrumentalists, vocalists, and chamber ensembles performing on the Sunset Center main stage.

Virginia Best Adams Masterclass Showcase

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 1:30 PM

Four emerging vocal stars from our 35th annualVirginia Best Adams Vocal Master Class program perform Baroque masterpieces with members of the Festival Orchestra. Michael Beattie is the director.


Viennese Matinee

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 11:00 AM

The Festival’s final day begins at the Sunset Center with a charming program featuring Dongsok Shin on the fortepiano (the precursor to the modern piano), as well as principal flutist Robin Carlson Peery.

Foyer Concerts

Every weekday during the Festival, there is a recital in the Sunset Center Foyer at 1:00. Get to know your favorite Festival musicians in an intimate setting. The appealing programs last just under an hour. These concerts are very popular and due to limited seating capacity, sell out quickly.

Bach and the Violin

Mondays, July 15 & 22, 2019, 1:00 PM

Emlyn Ngai, violin

Join associate concertmaster Emlyn Ngai as he explores a variety of Baroque styles via the music of Baltzar, Biber, Bach, Telemann, and Tartini.

Bach and the Viola

Tuesdays, July 16 & 23, 2019, 1:00 PM

Sarah Darling, viola

Violist Sarah Darling presents a fascinating program centered on Bach’s Third Suite for Cello, here performed on Viola. Caroline Shaw’s In Manus Tuas is also included.

Bach and the Lute

Wednesdays, July 17 & 24, 2019, 1:00 PM

Daniel Swenberg, lute; Dongsok Shin, lautenwerk

Exploring Bach’s music for the Lute and Lute-Harpsichord (Lautenwerk)

Bach A Cappella – All roads lead to Rome

Thursdays, July 18 & 25, 2019, 1:00 PM

Molly Quinn, Jennifer Paulino, Melanie Russell, soprano; Virginia Warnken Kelsey, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Fuchs, Timothy Hodges, Owen McIntosh, tenor; Jonathan Woody, bass

Music by J.S. Bach, Palestrina, Victoria, Fux. etc.

Bach and the Flute

Fridays, July 19 & 26, 2019, 1:00 PM

Robin Carlson Peery, flute; Karina Schmitz, viola; Simon Martyn-Ellis, guitar

Music by Bach, Beethoven, and Giuliani

Twilight Concerts

Women of Influence

Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 5:00 PM

Enjoy two Mozart sonatas for fortepiano and violin, all dedicated to important women who supported Mozart. Concertmaster Peter Hanson is the soloist, accompanied by principal keyboardist Andrew Arthur, performing on the fortepiano, the predecessor to the modern concert grand piano. The center of the program features soprano Mhairi Lawson performing four delightful Mozart songs.

Quartets in the Forest

Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 5:00 PM

Mozart’s String Quartet No. 21 is the first of three Prussian Quartets because of their dedication to the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm II. The beautiful quartet is notable for the equal prominence given to all four parts and for the and for the remarkable and melodic nature of the cello part, the instrument that Friedrich Wilhelm played.

Twilight in the Cathedral

Thursdays, July 18 & 25, 2019, 5:00 PM

Monterey’s iconic and beautiful San Carlos Cathedral has hosted Bach Festival twilight concerts for many years. The 2019 program features classic Baroque violin, organ and trumpet works. Enjoy some of the Festival’s finest Baroque musicians performing in the magnificent setting of the San Carlos Cathedral, just steps from downtown Monterey.

Sacred Treasures of Spain and England

Friday, July 26, 2019, 4:00 PM

The Carmel Bach Festival presents The Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School, the impeccably-trained and internationally-acclaimed choir of 40 boys aged 8-18, in a special a cappella concert, one performance only, at the Carmel Mission Basilica on Friday, July 26 at 4:00 p.m. The hour program features music ranging from the Spanish Renaissance (Francisco Guerrero, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Alonso Lobo, Juan Esquivel and Cristóbal de Morales) to English Tudor (William Byrd, Peter Philips and Thomas Tallis).

Fire & Grace & Ice

Monday, July 22, 2019, 4:00 PM

Edwin Huizinga, violin and William Coulter, guitar, known as Fire & Grace, is joined by Swedish nyckelharpa virtuoso Olov Johansson, foremost performer on the traditional Swedish instrument called the NyckelHarpa.  The trio will present repertoire folk and Baroque music from Scandinavia. Some repertoire features the unique Hardanger Fiddle, a traditional stringed instrument used to play the music of Norway.

Candlelight Concerts

The Sunday candlelight concerts at All Saints church are the perfect way to end your Festival weekend. The 2019 Festival offers two fascinating programs—woodwind octets from Gordon Jacob, Arvo Pärt  and Beethoven the first Sunday, and “Songs of the Night,” presenting the men of the Festival Chorale and Chorus in a special program devoted to nocturnal music directed by associate conductor Andrew Megill.

Sweet Harmonie

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 8:30 PM

Music by Jacob, Pärt, and Beethoven

Songs of the Night

Sunday, July 21, 2019, 8:30 PM

Nocturnal Music by Schubert, Bruckner, Chesnokov, Rachmaninoc, Poulenc, Vaughn Williams, Wuick, Sullivan, Spratlan, and Biebl