By Vanessa Salvia

Eugene is home to numerous businesses and organizations that have enriched the community for multiple generations. These long-standing local institutions have earned the community’s continued support decade after decade. In this and in upcoming issues, we will profile some of Eugene’s most enduring businesses. Learn about their origins, evolutions, and dedication to serving Eugene and the surrounding area. Discover what these locally-grown companies can teach us about staying power in an ever-changing business landscape. Through reinvesting in the places they call home, these businesses have become fixtures in Eugene’s landscape and community, and our community would be diminished without them.

Oregon Bach Festival

2023 marks the 52nd season for the Oregon Bach Festival, a prestigious institution that brings the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and others to vivid life each summer in Eugene. As James Boyd, the festival’s director of programming and administration  notes, “Bach has been with us for over 300 years. So he’s got staying power, that’s for sure. But an institution like this, I think, grows and thrives based on the people who are involved with it.” The festival began in 1970 as a summer masterclass program led by founder and conductor Royce Saltzman. He brought renowned musicians to work with students on Bach and choral-orchestral conducting. Over the next few years it evolved into a full music festival, taking the name Oregon Bach Festival. Saltzman and co-founder Helmuth Rilling built the organization into an internationally esteemed destination for classical music. “I think their longevity as partners and leaders is why the Bach Festival has grown and thrived to the extent that it has,” Boyd says. Their legacy continues to shape the festival today. The Bach Festival aims to distinguish itself by contributing unique cultural offerings to the Eugene community. As Boyd shared, “We want to make sure that what we do here is distinctive, and contributes to the cultural fabric of the community in a way that no other arts organization is already participating in.” While grounded in Eugene, the Oregon Bach Festival also draws artists and audiences from around the world — a testament to its enduring prestige. After more than 50 summers of magnificent musicianship, this distinguished institution continues hitting all the right notes.