Los Angeles

Trains + Tunes: Bach in the Subways

Celebrate the legend's 331st birthday by attending a free pop-up performance.

Very few names have become synonymous with the art form in which the person behind the name practiced within, but Bach stands as one of those exceptions.

The composer's very moniker means great classical music, cantatas and concertos created to not only weather the ages but to transform them, and all future listeners to come.

Future listeners like we modern SoCalers, the contemporary fans of the Baroque-period icon. And many of those SoCalers will call upon several regional locations from Saturday, March 19 through Monday, March 21 when Bach in the Subways pays tune-filled tribute to the composer's 331st birthday.

Bach in the Subways, "a community focused, 100% volunteer driven grassroots organization," is a global gathering of musicians playing the master's work, for free, in both train stations and points beyond.

Los Angeles is one hub for the 2016 happening, which serves as the sixth year of the event. While violinists and cellists and a host of classical pros will fan out across the area in the days leading up to Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday -- that's March 21 proper, though you probably know -- Union Station will serve as the sound-packed centerpiece to the affair.

So sound-packed, in fact, that Bach's compositions will ring out over nearly 12 hours on Sunday, March 20. Stop by the vintage ticketbooth area, the patio area, or the Grand Waiting Hall to experience saxophones, flutes, and an array of other instruments, and talented musicians, hearkening back to the age of Bach.

Seoul, Budapest, and Singapore are some of the other cities where Bach buffs will converge to listen, play, remember, and enjoy the lilting and lively compositions of one of the standard-bearers of the Baroque form.


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Union Station, though, isn't the only spot where notes will flow; Lake Balboa, Highland Park, and the Bob Baker Marionette Theater will also welcome Bachly doings over the three-day run.

Do you feel a Brandenburg Concerto swelling somewhere in the distance now? Follow the sound for an around-town tribute to a titan of classical music, a man whose work remains as vital now, centuries on, as it was Bach -- er, back -- in his 18th-century day.

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