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ISU faculty violinist to celebrate Major Bach Anniversary

January 30, 2020

Indiana State University faculty violinist Erik Rohde will present a set of two concerts of the complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by composer J.S. Bach on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Completed in 1720, this year is the 300th anniversary of the works, which represent the most significant and most performed works for solo violin. To celebrate this anniversary, Rohde is performing the complete cycle, a unique and rare venture because of the stamina required not only to perform all of the pieces together as a set, but also because even after 300 years they remain among the most virtuosic pieces written for solo violin.

"This is something I have been looking forward to for years," says Rohde. "I first started playing these pieces over 20 years ago, and so to have the opportunity to perform all of them together is a rare treat." The complete set is long enough that Rohde is splitting them up into two concerts on the same day. "To play all of these is like running a marathon," Rohde explains, "It has taken a lot of careful preparation to make sure that I have all of the music learned, but you have to also physically train so that you can finish the race successfully. The work required makes a performance like this very special. It is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience to hear a concert like this." While a complete performance of these Bach works is unusual, individually they are performed all the time. "Just about every violin student learns these pieces, and they are an important part of our repertoire," Rohde continues, "what makes them special is that everyone plays them differently so they become very personal and individual. If you want to really see a violinist's personality, listen to how they play Bach." The recitals will take place at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Boyce Recital Hall in the Landini Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free.

For more information, email erik.rohde@indstate.edu. Photo: i-wHGrv4r-X3.jpg

Story Highlights

Indiana State University faculty violinist Erik Rohde will present a set of two concerts of the complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by composer J.S. Bach at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 in the Boyce Recital Hall.

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