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    Posted March 29, 2013 by
    Erfurt, Germany

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    Bach Festival: Celebrations and Music at Historic Bach Sites


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Along with March 31 being Easter, it is also the birthday of famed German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. beetraveler wanted to commemorate Bach by sharing an iReport she did while traveling through Erfurt, Germany, in December 2012. She visited St. Mary's Cathedral where she interviewed Silvius von Kessel who is the organist of the cathedral. 'It turns out he chose Erfurt because of its rich musical history, liking that musicians can play in locations where they know such music has been played for centuries,' she said. Bach is buried in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, which is located near St. Mary's Cathedral. Since it is Easter weekend, she hopes people will also take time to appreciate the beauty of life and music. 'Bach's history and legacy is deeply connected with church music. I would simply advise people to truly listen to and appreciate the church choir and organ this weekend.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Bach's Birthday is this weekend, and Bach's greatest fans are quite possibly the people living in Thuringia, Germany -- the state in which he was born. They are currently having a multi-week celebration in his honor, with visiting musicians from around Germany -- and the world. The festival is particularly special because its many concerts, small and large, take place at authentic Bach sites throughout the state of Thuringia.


    I interviewed the President of the Thuringia Bach Festival, Silvius von Kessel, in Erfurt. Before settling in Erfurt, as the acclaimed Organist and Choir Master for Erfurt Cathedral, he studied with Olivier Latry in Paris, the Organist at the world famous Notre Dame Cathedral.

    At the end of this interview, I was given a peek inside the "organ cockpit," where the cathedral's  thousands of pipes are controlled. Indeed, playing any grand church organ requires highly specialized skill.


    This winter, I also visited the St Thomas Church of Leipzig, the church where Bach is currently buried, and where he spent the final years of his career:
    iReport: St Thomas Church Celebrates 800 Years


    More info:


    Thuringia Bach Festival 2013

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