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Event Details

Three outstanding local cellists will each tackle one of Bach's great Suites for Solo Cello in this special Off-the-Vines event. Johann Sebastian Bach composed six suites, and we will present three this season, and the remainder next season. Each performer will bring her special interpretation to these great works. Features Jeanne Shumway, Barbara Hunter-Spencer, and Hilary Clark.

Note: Thanks to a sponsorship from Jim and Carolyn Brescia, K-12 students are free with a paid adult. Please select a"K-12 Sponsored Student" at check-out.

We thank our sponsors for making this event possible:

Kathryn Keeler and Stuart de Haaff, Lieselotte Stockman, Yvonne and Vic Smith and Linda Kristenson

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Solo Cello Suites are some of the most iconic classical music works. They have inspired not only cellists and audiences but other art forms as well, and they have been featured in ballet and theatre productions, even in films.

Here is a clip from the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) featuring Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007


Each of Bach’s Cello Suites follows a similar structure. They begin – as was common practice – with a prélude, an introductory movement, which served a dual practical purpose of settling both the unstable gut strings of the cello and the all-too-frequently noisy audience. The prélude is usually the longest movement; its character can be whimsical and improvisatory.

Interestingly, there are no tempo markings for any of the movements given by the composer. Therefore, it is up to the performer to choose the suitable pulse for their interpretation. This can lead to significant differences. You will notice the tempo variation in the next video, performed by cellist Heinrich Schiff, when compared to the film soundtrack above.


Cello Suites are an integral part of the cello repertoire. Most well-known cellists regard performing and recording the whole set as a milestone in their career.

Venue Information

7350 Linne Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446
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Organizer Information

Symphony of the Vines

P.O. Box 2848
Paso Robles, CA 93447

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