"Goodwin sheds new light and brings fresh air."

The Boston Globe, USA

Carmel Bach Festival 
2019 - 2021

2019 continued the upward rise in the fortunes of the Carmel Bach Festival, with near capacity audiences and maximum diversity of programming. The newer, lively model is bringing in greater diversity of public, energy and joy! 

Having commissioned works by John Corigliano, Curt Cacioppo, Thea Musgrave and Caroline Shaw in the past, I commissioned a new guitar concerto by the Hollywood film composer Mark Mancina to work as a companion piece to the Rodrigo concerto. It turned out a lively and entertaining composition that's sure to be taken up by other orchestras around the globe.

One of my aims for the Festival is to expand it into other art forms and so I invited Black Panther award winning actress Francesca Faridany to read the Shakespeare text for a presentation of Mendelssohn's Midsummer night’s dream. It was a great privilege to be on stage with such a fine Shakespearian actor, as not only did she bring the text to life, but she dramatically acted out all the scenes. 

There was yet more diversification with folk and cross over stars Fire and Grace, along with the Swedish Nyckelarpa virtuoso, Olov Johansson in a fascinating evening of folk and baroque.

We started the Festival with Haydn’s Creation and ended with Beethoven’s 4th symphony. The main Bach composition was the Christmas Oratorio, but split up into three performances of two cantatas each, presenting them in three venues, with three conductors and three different formations. 

We catered for our opera lovers with an opera night, this time on a theme of Saints and Sinners! - Polephemus and Galatea from Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Tom Rakewell and Anne Truelove from Stravinsky Rake’s Progress, the Count and Susanna from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Don José and Carmen from Bizet’s Carmen. 

Peter Hanson, our concertmaster, presented music from the movies - Psycho, Dunkirk, Schindler’s list and the Hobbit alongside Shaker Loops of John Adams, while Associate Conductor Andrew Megill mixed Bach and Arvo Part with the elite singers of the Chorale.  

No year would be complete without an outing for Leonard and Rasmus, a little boy and his stuffed horse, who have different adventures each year. This year, Leonard become aware of all sorts of pesky bugs, discovering why we need to protect them and their environment. The capacity audience of kids, parents and grand parents ended up singing the Beatles song, Penny Lane, before retiring outside for fun and games and face painting.

Sadly, we had to cancel the 2020 festival, but are planning a full program for November 2021: Bach B minor mass, Handel Ode to St. Cecilia, Purcell Dido and Aeneas, The Art of Courtly Love, folk music from the Iberian peninsular, Wagner Siegfried Idyl and  Beethoven 1 to end!

You can discover more about the Carmel Bach Festival from our web site or face book page and these links to live performances:

Paul - 1.jpg

Photo - Avery Gould


Photo - Randy Tunnell

Great conducting image from old web site

Photo - Manny Esponoza