"Goodwin sheds new light and brings fresh air."
The Boston Globe, USA
Carmel Bach Festival
2019 & 21
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 was 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 Scandinavian folk and baroque.
We started the Festival with Haydn’s Creation and ended with Beethoven’s 4th symphony. We catered for opera lovers with an opera night titled "Saints and Sinners", highlighting Handel Acis and Galatea, Stravinsky Rake's Progress and Bizet's Carmen. We had a movie night and an afternoon for kids with 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 managed to put on a reduced size festival in November 2021, enabling me to highlight our move to period instruments: Bach B minor mass, Handel Ode to St. Cecilia, Purcell Dido and Aeneas, the Brandenburgs, The Art of Courtly Love, folk music from the Iberian peninsular along with flamenco dance from Fanny Ara, ending the festival with Wagner Siegfried Idyl and Beethoven 1. We also managed a program of diverse chamber music and a young musicians showcase. The joy to be back performing was shared by all!
I am proud to be leaving the festival in the best shape of it's history, with record donations, younger and more diverse audiences, a greatly widened artistic palate, superb orchestra and choir and a strong international profile.
It is also an honour to have a music fellowship established in my name to support students, who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity, to study music at the California State University Monterey Bay:
"The Carmel Bach Festival Music Scholarship in honour of Paul Goodwin".