After over a year's worth of planning, the gathering we long anticipated finally came true on Friday evening as the Dunster House Dining Hall was filled with current BachSoc members, alumni, and family to celebrate a distinguished history of fifty years of music making here at Harvard.
Following a delicious catered dinner, a distinguished collection of speakers reflected on the ways in which BachSoc has profoundly influenced their experiences while at Harvard, their families, and their entire careers. Those sharing the wisdom of the ages that night included founding conductor Michael Greenebaum '55, cellist Jim Bernstein '58, conductor Isaiah Jackson III '66, violinist Lynn Chang '75, flutist Sally Rubin '83, and long-time HRO conductor Dr. James Yannatos.
To conclude the formal ceremonies, Michael Greenebaum was presented a plaque honoring him for his bold and innovative vision and efforts to add such a fine chamber orchestra as BachSoc to the music community at Harvard. It was fitting that such a memorable evening did not deserve to come to an end, as all of those gathered perused through a half-century of memorabilia while continuing to share stories of BachSoc, both past and present.
The gala weekend continued Saturday evening at Sanders Theatre as the audience was greeted with the electrifying fanfare of Short Ride in a Fast Machine, a piece composed by former BachSoc conductor John Adams '69. Harvard Professor Robert Levin provided a masterful performance of Mozartís Piano Concerto in F, K.459. Following intermission, violinist Stefan Jackiw '07 brought the audience to their feet with a dazzling rendition of Sarasateís Carmen Fantasy. Several alumni spanning 50 years of BachSoc history joined the orchestra for a most memorable presentation of Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol to bring the outstanding concert to its conclusion. The evening was capped off by a reception that allowed for current members to celebrate the conclusion of both an outstanding anniversary season and a memorable gala weekend with alumni, friends, and family.