December 2018 - Ken Herman of San Diego Story writes…’Ruben Valenzuela’s Bach Collegium San Diego (BCSD) gave an electric performance of J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Friday (December 14) in the capacious sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church of San Diego. Sung in German by a strong 19 member chorus, accompanied by a fleet 25-piece period instrument ensemble, and guided by Artistic Director Valenzuela’s acute sense of Baroque period performance practice, this concert brought us amazingly close to Bach’s musical world.’ Read the rest of the review by clicking below.
December 2018 - Marcus Overton of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes… ‘Amid the appalling barrage of schlocky “seasonal” music wherever we go, a small but brilliant ray of musical light emerged Friday night at First United Methodist Church in Mission Valley, where Bach Collegium San Diego presented a first-class performance of four parts of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
So many things were so wonderfully right with this performance — repeated Saturday evening at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff — that it’s hard to know where to begin.’ Read the rest of the review by clicking below.
March 2018 - Ken Herman of San Diego Story writes....'Bach Collegium San Diego’s Friday concert at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Hillcrest offered the best of both worlds: one of the familiar, cherished motets by J. S. Bach and rarely heard works by Heinrich Schütz and Domenico Scarlatti.'
December 2017 - BCSD received two wonderful reviews for its recent performances of Messiah. The first is from David Gregson at Opera West...
"One of the better performances of Handel's 'Messiah' you are ever likely to hear moved peripatetically up the coast from San Diego to Carlsbad...The transparency of the instrumental textures, the clean diction and clarity of the choral lines and their subtle dynamic shadings all served to thrill us and to reveal the genius of the composer." Read the complete review here.
The second review comes from Ken Herman at San Diego Story...
"Here in San Diego County...Bach Collegium San Diego has been the leading light of historically informed performance at an internationally recognized standard, and the Collegium's annual 'Messiah' performance has been its crown jewel." Read the complete review here.
October 2017 - Bach Collegium San Diego's performance of Handel's Acis and Galatea was a delightful experience and we were fortunate to have three well-regarded reviewers come on Friday night. Here are a few quotes and links to their complete articles.
Ken Herman of San Diego Story writes, 'The Bach Collegium San Diego's scintillating performance of G. F. Handel's Acis and Galatea Friday (October 20) proved how fortunate we are that Artistic Director Ruben Valenzuela does not restrict the company's repertory to its namesake composer.
"Bach Collegium San Diego Gives Vivid Account of Early Handel Opera"
David Gregson of Opera West writes, 'The Bach Collegium San Diego is a local treasure.'
"Handel's Acis and Galatea: A Pastoral Delight from the Bach Collegium San Diego"
And finally, Christian Hertzog of the San Diego Union-Tribute writes, 'Bach Collegium San Diego gave a splendid concert performance of Handel's "Acis & Galatea" Friday at All Souls' Episcopal Church. For fans of Handel's dramatic works, it was like generous rainfall after a lengthy drought.
'Bach Collegium showcases delightful performance of Handel's Acis & Galatea'December
15th Anniversary Season Announced: Announcing the 15th anniversary season ahead in 2017–18, artistic director Ruben Valenzuela says, “We are thrilled to charge ahead with an unwavering commitment to bringing vibrant world-class performances to San Diego, further establishing BCSD as one of this city’s leading arts organizations, and continuing to build a reputation as one of this country’s most dynamic early music ensembles.” Read the full press release here.
Teutonic Treasure: Bach Collegium San Diego Plays the German Masters Before J. S. Bach - "Doing its part to boost San Diego’s celebration of early music month, the Bach Collegium San Diego offered an array of obscure 17th-century German music—Agony and Ecstasy: Bach’s Muses—over the weekend, March 11 & 12, 2017." (San Diego Story) By Ken Herman, March 13, 2017
"It’s been a great week for local early music fans. They’re enjoying an unprecedented four-concert festival, “Sounds of the Baroque,” involving three San Diego organizations." (San Diego Union Tribune) By Christian Herzog, March 12, 2017
"Bach Collegium San Diego, San Diego’s only early and Baroque music performance ensemble, has named Will Neblett as its new executive director." Read the full press release here.
Bach Collegium San Diego, the city’s acclaimed early music and Baroque performance ensemble, now in its fourteenth season, will mark the celebration of National Early Music Month with a unique program called “Agony &Ecstasy: Bach’s Muses.” Read the full press release here.
"Musical thrills also came from local organizations. On March 4, Ruben Valenzuela’s Bach Collegium San Diego gave us “An Empire of Silver and Gold,” a revelatory concert of choral, vocal, and instrumental music from Latin America’s Baroque efflorescence.' (San Diego Story: Bravos & Boos 2016) By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, December 29, 2016
"...Even other historically informed performances using period instruments do not come close to Ruben Valenzuela’s vibrant, emotionally searing revelations of a score that most music lovers think they already know...."
Bach Collegium San Diego’s ‘Messiah’–the One We’ve Been Waiting For
By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, December 21, 2016
"The space caused minor issues, but the vocalists and the orchestra were in fine form when Bach Collegium San Diego performed Handel's Messiah this weekend." Bach Collegium set the bar high with Handel's Messiah By Marcus Overton, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 18, 2016
"Ruben Valenzuela’s intrepid Bach Collegium San Diego gave a starkly beautiful account of Distler’s little known work (at least in North America) at one of the Collegium’s Bach at Noon concerts..." Bach Collegium San Diego brings Distler's mystical 'Totentanz' to San Diego By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, November 14, 2016
"Keeping up the Bach Collegium’s own high standards, under Valenzuela’s firm, clear direction, the dozen instrumentalists on period instruments proved stylish in every detail, displaying tight ensembles in the varying combinations the score required." Bach Collegium's brilliant concert digs deep into the Bach treasure trove By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, October 17, 2016
"With a mere 26 voices and a modest cadre of period instruments, Valenzuela’s crew filled the resonant sanctuary of St. Andrew’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal church in Pacific Beach with such a tsunami of vibrant choral sound that if you closed your eyes, you might think your were hearing a massive festival chorus in some vast European cathedral."
Bach Collegium San Diego Presents Powerful Monteverdi ‘1610 Vespers’
By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, May 14, 2016
"The chorus sounded so glorious that there might as well have been 100 of the them rather than a select few. The visiting Tesserae Brass were striking in their total mastery of the period instruments, the cornett and sackbut. And absolutely everybody under the inspired musical guidance of Ruben Valenzuela must be commended for a memorable Vespers performance, the second the Bach Collegium has offered since 2010."
Monteverdi’s Glorious “Vespro della Beata Vergine” with the Bach Collegium
By David Gregson, Opera West, May 14, 2016
"While too many classical music organizations continue to recycle the same Beethoven and Brahms symphonies, Rachmaninoff piano concertos, and Puccini operas, local audiences can count on the Bach Collegium San Diego to surprise us regularly with rare and amazing repertory."
Splendor and Sarcasm in Latin American Baroque Music
By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, March 6, 2016
"Founded by Valenzuela in 2003, BCSD offers repertoire from the Renaissance, Baroque and early classical eras. Its namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach, remains one of the most iconic composers and musicians of the Baroque, or any other, period."
Early Classical Music Full of Energy
By Beth Wood, San Diego Union Tribune, February 29, 2016
"I found this Messiah more profound and spiritually moving than any I have previously experienced."
Bach Collegium San Diego: ‘Messiah’ Redeemed
By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, December 8, 2015
"It was like seeing a classic painting restored to its original brilliance after centuries of grime had dimmed its appearance and masked its strengths."
Bach Served Straight Up, No Olives
By Ken Herman, San Diego Story, October 18, 2015
“My ultimate vision is to continue to offer San Diego an ensemble that is going perform music that folks here locally are not otherwise going to hear.”
It’s all good (music) for the Bach Collegium San Diego
By James Chute, San Diego Union Tribune, October 14, 2015
"It was a revelation."
Bach Collegium San Diego Gives 'La Resurrezione' Life
By Mark Swed, LA Times, April 19, 2015