The Victoria Bach Festival was founded in 1976 under the direction of Dr. David Urness with the sponsorship of the University of Houston-Victoria. Now independent from the university, the VBF Association continues to benefit from partnerships with UHV and other community organizations.
Today’s expanded festival is shaped by Artistic Director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez. Festival week is a mix of intimate concerts by outstanding soloists and chamber groups; blockbuster oratorio and symphonic performances; and fun, informal family and outdoor concerts. Orchestral, choral, and chamber music is performed by local and nationally acclaimed artists in various venues in Victoria and broadcast to surrounding South Texas communities on KEDT/KVRT radio. Recent seasons included performances of Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Robert Levin’s completion of Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.
The Festival is committed to performing masterworks of the classical repertoire and to giving local musicians the opportunity to perform with nationally acclaimed artists. Off-season concerts include an annual holiday performance by vocal ensemble Conspirare, and children’s concerts for public and private elementary schools.
Core values for the Festival include artistic excellence, creativity, hospitality, accessibility, and fiscal responsibility. VBF is noted for its welcoming environment for musicians and audience members, and strives to be inclusive and accessible through outreach concerts, post-concert chats with artists, and open rehearsals.
In 1998, the Festival acquired a Rutkowski & Robinette concert grand harpsichord. Thanks to the generous investment of the The Cloyde and Ethel Lee Tracy Foundation, Wood Family Memorial Trust, and York Family Trust, the VBF harpsichord was renovated and restrung in 2008.