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Bach in the Subways (also Midlands)Happy birthday, Johann Sebastain Bach

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Saturday, March 21, is Johann Sebastian Bach’s 330rd birthday, and to honor the great baroque composer, musicians around the world are giving listeners the gift of music. From London to New York to Columbia, classical musicians will offer free performances in public spaces of some the Bach’s greatest works.

Called Bach in the Subways, the international movement was founded by cellist Dale Henderson to sow the seeds for future generations of classical music lovers by generating public interest and excitement for the art form. This year, musicians in 129 cities will present this music as both a gift and an invitation to further explore classical music.

The Columbia program will take place at Drip on Main from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, with USC musicians performing. As this is a celebration of music, no donations will be accepted at this or any Bach in the Subways performances.

Johann Sebastian Bach is considered one of the greatest and most prolific composers of all time. Here are a few interesting facts about him.

▪ He had 20 children.

▪ He spent a month in prison for angering a boss – and composed “Book One” of the “Well-Tempered Clavier” while there.

▪ He was born the same year as George Frederick Handel, another German composer. Although they never met, both were treated by the same eye doctor and both suffered the same post-surgery complications.

▪ At the age of 14, Bach received a scholarship to the famous St. Michael’s school in Luneburg near Hamburg, Germany. He reportedly walked the more than 175 miles from his home to the school.

For more information, visit bachinthesubways.com

Katie McElveen, Special to The State