Experience Portland. Experience Bachanalia. Experience Understanding. Experience the Salon. Experience the Concert. Experience Bach.



 "...a modern festival rooted in old-world traditions."

" 'We live in a world where the top music award, the Pulitzer Prize, was given by unanimous decision to a rapper, Kendrick Lamar. To treat this music the same way it has been presented for the last 50 years is a recipe for extinction. I am interested in giving this music life in the digital age.'”

"With events like Bach in a Bowling Alley [and] Bach & Beer, [Emily Isaacson is] trying to return classical music to its natural habitat. 'I am also interested in bringing to Portland the cutting edge of music in America. My generation thinks that the classifications "jazz," "classical," "pop," are unnecessary. Music is a giant, interconnected ecosystem, and we are interested in mining all of its expressive qualities.' "

Out & About: New musical experiences debut- The Forecaster

"The PBE’s general concept is to re-imagine presentations of the music of Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach and others of his time – the first half of the 18th century – in ways that better relate to today’s audiences."

"The artistic director is Emily Isaacson, an up-and-coming musical mover and shaker who’s currently best known for her impressive leadership of the Oratorio Chorale."

Artistic differences lead to dueling Bach festivals - Portland Press Herald 

"The emergence of two festivals reflects Portland’s changing demographics, as well as the different ways classical music can be presented and appreciated, said Alice Kornhauser, executive director of the Portland Chamber Music Festival."

"Bach wrote some of his music with the intention that it would be performed in formal, religious settings, but much of what he wrote was meant to be played in the private homes and courts of dukes and duchesses. The Portland Bach Experience will reflect the spirit of the music as it was originally written and performed, which also reflects 'what is going on with my generation of musicians in small pods and in small moments all over the country,' said Isaacson, 35."

Classical Music Today- Maine Calling

"This is a community of intelligent, cultured people who are seeking to experience new opportunities to enrich themselves and to grow every minute of their life and I think that music provides a lot of opportunities for that. And [as part of the Portland Bach Experience, the goal is to create listening but also learning and participating opportunities] and to bring some out-of-staters in to be a part of that.” - Emily Isaacson

"One of my missions in life as a musician is to create listening opportunities so that people can experience music on that really sort of primitive, spiritual level. I think that there are moments where the concert experience is totally appropriate…But I think there are other moments where creating an atmosphere…where you can feel it as more of your holistic being. It helps people bring it back to that soul spirit part of music." - Emily Isaacson

Portland Bach Experience presents classical music for the modern world in the seaside town of Portland, Maine. Eat award-winning food, drink locally craft beers, and then wander down the street and see some of the best musicians in the world playing music. There's a little bit of Bach for everyone.