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“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” - Confucius
MISSION AND VISION
Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous
The Carmel Bach Festival celebrates the works, inspiration and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach worldwide by immersing audiences in a festival experience integrating music, education and ideas.
The Carmel Bach Festival is recognized as a world class festival of music and ideas inspired by the historical and ongoing influence of Johann Sebastian Bach. Transcending the traditional boundaries of performance and presentation, the Carmel Bach Festival provides fresh contexts of relevance that enable listeners to experience beauty and wonder, sparking the imagination, stimulating conversation, and enriching lives in unpredictable ways.
The Festival’s programming is shaped within a multi-disciplinary framework that intersects its primary musical focus with the worlds of science, religion, literature and art, and with other performance genres, celebrating the inherent opportunities to educate, enrich, and inspire.
The Carmel Bach Festival re-connects with Carmel’s roots as a hotbed of social culture and a world famous art colony that was host to writers, poets, artists, and musicians.
In 1935 Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous founded the Carmel Bach Festival on the premise that Carmel-by-the-Sea should become the epicenter of world-class music, art and cultural expression. Both women were musical producers, owners of the influential Dene-Watrous Gallery and well-known for their efforts in enhancing the cultural life of the Monterey Peninsula. The Festival began as a four-day festival of open rehearsals, events, and concerts with Ernst Bacon as guest conductor.