Bachfest nord, the world’s northernmost Bachfest, premieres in 2022 and will be an annual festival where the music of J. S. Bach is the main focus. The Bach festival takes place in northern Norway in the days around what is considered Bach’s birthday on 21 March. The concerts tour around the region, but the concert on March 21 is always in Harstad.

Mezzo-soprano Sunniva Eliassen is the initiator and artistic director of Bachfest nord. She is educated at the University of Tromsø and Musikhochschule Lübeck with Prof. Anne-Lise Sollied and Prof. Christiane Hampe as her coach. At the same time, she also studied at “Barock Vokal” associated with Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz. Through her specialization in baroque music, Sunniva has worked with conductors such as Konrad Junghänel, Andreas Scholl, Michael Hofstetter and Ton Koopman.

Bachfest has its origins in Leipzig where Johann Sebastian Bach worked as a Thomas cantor for the last 27 years of his life. The main goal for the Bach festivals is to celebrate Bach’s memory and his music and make it available to the people.

The very first Bach festival was held in 1904 in Leipzig and until 1989, 26 such festivals were held. Since 1999, Bachfest Leipzig has been held every single year.

Bach festivals are now held all over the world every year. Among others in Canada, Malaysia, USA, Germany and many more. Bachfest nord is the world’s northernmost Bachfest!