Jan Vogler & Amanda Gorman: An Evening of Poetry and Bach (February 2024)

On Saturday, February 17, cellist Jan Vogler and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman performed together at Carnegie Hall in New York, presenting a joint concert evening: Amanda Gorman’s contemporary poetry met the 300-year-old music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Together, Gorman and Vogler explored the meeting of these two worlds, building a bridge between Bach’s immortal music and Gorman’s visionary poetry. Jan Vogler played Bach’s first, third and fifth cello suites while Amanda Gorman recited her poems.

“We’re bringing something from the past into a modern, contemporary feel. And we’re doing it with poetry that I have never performed with music before,” says Amanda Gorman

“Poetry, there’s this in between the words, and with music, it’s the same — in between the notes, actually, the real message happens,” says Jan Vogler. “The whole Bach suites are about humanity, about feelings, about lows and highs.”

Amanda Gorman is a young American poet, writer and activist who performed her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021. With her then 22 years, she was the youngest poet ever to perform at the inauguration of a US president.

Amanda Gorman & Jan Vogler, February 17, 2024 (c) Chris Lee

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