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ABS Festival & Academy

AUGUST 4 – 13 2017


HANDEL: Water Music Suites ~ PURCELL: King Arthur
plus BACH: Mass in B Minor ~ TELEMANN: Water Music
BACH: Sinfonias, Concertos, and Transcriptions ~ and more

Free Lectures, Public Master Classes, and Colloquium


Read the Festival Brochure

Join the musicians of ABS and our phenomenally talented Academy members for ten days of the ABS Festival & Academy, voted "Best Festival" on San Francisco Classical Voice's Best of the Bay.

Festival performances take place in San Francisco's St. Mark's Lutheran Church

and in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Festival Concerts

The 2017 ABS Festival & Academy will celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the first performances of George Frideric Handel's Water Music in 1717. On July 17th in that year, King George I and a consort of plutocrats embarked royal barges on the Thames accompanied by another barge full of musicians led by Handel. It seemed as if all of London had turned out to share the aquatic excursion, enjoying the thrilling outdoor performance of music that has become one of the most treasured collections of elegant and thrilling dance movements. Continuing with the theme of Music from the English Baroque, the ABS Academy will present a performance of Henry Purcell's 5-act semi-opera, King Arthur (or "The British Worthy"), a setting of a marvelous libretto by England's first Poet Laureate, John Dryden.  

The Academy Faculty, a distinguished roster of performers, will offer Orpheus in Britannia featuring works by some of the greatest composers of the English Baroque.​

ABS’s annual performances of Bach’s towering Mass in B Minor, featuring the American Bach Choir and the Academy Orchestra, will be presented at the end of each Festival weekend, concerts that constitute an annual pilgrimage for many.

Additionally, the "period style all-stars" (San Francisco Examiner) of ABS will offer Bach & Sons, a program that honors J.S. Bach and his most illustrious composer offspring.

Free Academy Events

The American Bach Soloists Academy—the educational component of the ABS Summer Bach Festival—offers advanced conservatory-level students and emerging professionals unique opportunities to study and perform Baroque music in a multi-disciplinary learning environment.

Academy-In-Action "Baroque Marathon"

Academy participants are featured exclusively in two days of Academy-in-Action Concerts offering chamber vocal and instrumental works by Baroque masters. (Free)

Public Colloquia

Annual engaging forums for performers and audience members alike explore a variety of topics centered on historical, artistic, and practical considerations of performing Baroque music today. (Free)

Lecture Series

Join the members of the American Bach Soloists Academy for a series of enlightening and informative public lectures presented by the Academy faculty on a wide range of subjects centered on Festival themes. (Free)

Master Class Series

The ABS Academy opens its doors to the public to witness the artistic transformations that make Master Classes so tremendously exciting, as performers and their master teachers share their knowledge and insights. (Free)