Upcoming Events

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bach Birthday Bash


Updated at 9:30am on Thursday, March 26, 2020

We have rescheduled the Bach Birthday Bash for September 26, 2020

We’re delighted to announce that we will be holding our BELATED Bach Birthday Bash on Saturday, September 26th at 7pm! We hope this new day works for our current ticket holders. If you hold a ticket and can attend on this date – no action is needed! Your ticket will remain good for that night (whether you have it in hand or at WILL CALL at PortTIX).
If you are unable to attend, there are a few choices on the PortTIX site available to you:
  • receive a a voucher for a complimentary ticket to select future FOKO performances
    (to be mailed in the next few weeks)
  • the option to donate the value of your ticket(s) to Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ during this uncertain economic time (we will provide a receipt for your tax records)
  • a refund of your ticket price from PortTIX

Please make any changes for this concert by May 18th.

Again, we thank all of you for your patience, and we hope to see you on September 26th!


PROGRAM will be as originally envisioned for March 20, 2020:

Celebrate what would be German composer and organist Johann Sebastian Bach’s 335th birthday. Bach is known to many classical music enthusiasts as the “high priest” of the pipe organ. Kennerley will perform many of the composer’s classical masterpieces, as well as his own re-imagined versions of Bach favorites.
We celebrate Bach’s birthday with music drawn from two distinct periods of his life. The first half consists of selections from his monumental 1739 organ publication, Clavier-Übung – literally, “keyboard practice”. Bach was at the height of his career, and used this and other similar publications to prove to the world that he was the supreme composer of keyboard works. He incorporated a massively wide range of styles and textures, from the old stile antico (antique style) to the modern-day Galant style. The selections, to include the Prelude and Fugue in E-flat, will demonstrate the full range of the collection, ranging from the smallest fughetta to the massive chorale prelude on the melody Aus tiefer Noth for full organ in 6 parts.
The second part of the concert will present works from Bach’s Weimar period where he worked as Konzertmeister (director of music) at the ducal court from 1708 until 1717. It was here that be began to compose keyboard and instrumental pieces in full force. Bach also came under the influence of Italian music composed by the likes of Vivaldi, Albinoni, and others. This is the music of a composer who is experimenting, absorbing styles from various other composers and finding his voice as a young composer. We’ll hear the most famous organ piece of all, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, as well as an instrumental concerto for two violins by Vivaldi that Bach arranged for the organ. The concert concludes with Bach’s most virtuosic organ piece, the Prelude and Fugue in D major – featuring a whirlwind of scales and arpeggios to be played by the feet – surely the young Bach showing off his virtuosic technique.

From the third part of the Clavier-Übung (“keyboard practice”)
Prelude in E-flat major, BWV 552a
Allein Gott in der Höh’, BWV 676 (trio, pedaliter)
Allein Gott in der Höh’, BWV 677 (trio, manualiter)
Wir glauben all an einen Gott fugue, BWV 679 (manualiter)
Wir glauben all an einen Gott à 4, BWV 680 (in organo pleno)
Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir, BWV 686 (à 6, in pleno organo)
Dies sind die heil’gen zehn Gebot, BWV 678 (Cantus firmus in canon)
Dies sind die heil’gen zehn Gebot, BWV 679 (fugue, manualiter)
Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 552b


“Bach in Italy”
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Concerto for Two Violins in A minor after Vivaldi, BWV 593
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532

Media Sponsor: Maine Public
General Admission
$30 (includes all facility fees; $3/ticket additional box office fee for phone and internet sales not included).

Start Time: 7 p.m.
Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St, Portland, ME


Buy Tickets

PortTIX logo
Tickets for Kotzschmar Organ concerts are available only at the PortTIX box office

In-person: 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, ME

Hours: M-Sat (M-F Summer) 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

By phone: 207-842-0800

Online: porttix.com