Lindsay Clark of the Juneau Symphony will be one of 10 symphony musicians to take part in the Crystal Saloon’s, “Beer. Brats. Brandenburgs.” event the evening of Oct.1 (Courtesy Photo / Taylor Vidic)

Lindsay Clark of the Juneau Symphony will be one of 10 symphony musicians to take part in the Crystal Saloon’s, “Beer. Brats. Brandenburgs.” event the evening of Oct.1 (Courtesy Photo / Taylor Vidic)

Bach meets weizen-bock

Classical bars to be played at downtown bar

Juneau Symphony music director Christopher Koch knows a thing or two about bringing classical music ‘Bach’ to its roots — the bars.

The Crystal Saloon will present an evening of beer, brats and classical music for an event they’ve appropriately titled Beer. Brats. Brandenburgs, 6-11 p.m., Oct. 1, with music lasting from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

“I’ve done stuff like this before which is taking what you might call concert hall music and putting it into different situations, which is actually much closer, maybe to the environment the music would have originally been performed in,” Koch said.

Crystal Saloon is partnering with Devil’s Club Brewing Co. to serve two fall releases, which will be served all throughout the month of October, while supplies last, according to Crystal Saloon booking agent Taylor Vidic. Co-owner for Devil’s Club Brewing Evan Wood said the two beers being premiered at the event are Half Note Helles Lager and Johann Weizen-Bock.

All are welcome to attend to learn more about German-style Bock and Märzen as the Crystal kicks off their beer-liest month of the year. Brats will also be available for sale to round out the experience. The Brandenburg Concertos, by Johann Sebastian Bach, date back to 1721 and are considered some of the best orchestral compositions of the Baroque era. The concertos consist of six 3-to-8-minute pieces.

Juneau Symphony music director Christopher Koch. (Courtesy Photo / Christopher Koch)

Juneau Symphony music director Christopher Koch. (Courtesy Photo / Christopher Koch)

According to Koch, music written in the 1700s used to be featured more in less formal settings, there wasn’t a separation between “bar music” and “classical music,” the music being written was for social settings in general.

“Getting dressed up and sitting in a concert hall to hear really any kind of music is relatively new, it’s a 20th century concept,” Koch said. “So, it’s really cool to hear Bach in a brewery or in a warehouse or anywhere else.”

Koch said he has put on similar events in the past in cities he used to live in and he’s now excited to try it out in Juneau. Koch most recently came from Oregon and while he’s only been in Juneau for a month and half, he’s excited to turn his old idea into a new one here in town.

While the event isn’t directly tied to the Juneau Symphony, Koch said all of the musicians involved are members of the Juneau Symphony and mostly consists of principal players in the symphony, Koch included, who will be playing in the winds section.

The featured musicians are Franz Felkl, Lisa Ibias, Lindsay Clark, Meg Rosson on Viols (violin), Meghan Johnson on bass viol (cello), Sue Kazama on keys, and Sally Schlichting, Jetta Whittaker, Jeff Karlson and Koch on wind instruments.

Tickets can be purchased on the Crystal Saloon website. General admission costs $20, or Vidic said there is a pre-show tip option called Brandenburg Babe for $40 where the extra $20 goes directly to the musicians.

“What it really comes down to is it’s really great to hear music in a variety of environments. We like to fight stereotypes, you don’t have to sit in a concert hall in silence to listen to great music. That’s one way to listen to it, but there are a lot of ways and it’s fun,” Koch said. “It’s fun to listen to music in a bar. There’s different kinds of experiences that we choose from for the way that we interact with music and I think it’s so important, it doesn’t matter what genre of music it is, you can enjoy that music in just about any setting. I think it’s important in the classical world to sort of get out of the concert hall. Not that the concert hall isn’t great, but it’s just not the only way to do it.”

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

State senators meet with members of the media at the Alaska State Capitol to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Nanibaa’ Frommherz, a student at Thunder Mountain High School, testifies about a proposal to help the Juneau School District with its financial crisis during a Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night at City Hall. The meeting was moved from the Assembly Chambers to a conference room toward the end due to technical errors that disrupted the live online feed.
Little public reaction to city’s bailout of school district this year, but big questions beyond loom

Only two people testify Monday about proposed $4.1M loan and taking over $3.9 in “shared costs.”

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Mauka Grunenberg looks at live oysters for sale on Aug. 29, 2022, at Sagaya City Market in Anchorage. The oysters came from a farm in Juneau. Oysters, blue mussels and sugar, bull and ribbon kelp are the main products of an Alaska mariculture industry that has expanded greatly in recent years. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska’s mariculture industry expands, with big production increases in recent years, report says

While Alaska’s mariculture industry is small by global standards, production of farmed… Continue reading

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (center) walks with Alaska Rep. Will Stapp, R-Fairbanks, and Alaska Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, into the Alaska House of Representatives chambers ahead of her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Peltola celebrates federal intervention in Albertsons, Kroger merger in legislative address

Congresswoman says wins for Alaska’s fisheries and state’s economy occurring through collaboration.

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, speaks in support of Senate concurrence on a version of an education bill passed by the Alaska House last week during a Senate floor discussion on Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senate concurs on House education bill, Dunleavy is skeptical

Dunleavy schedules press conference Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage to discuss the legislation.

A photo by Ben Huff being exhibited as part of his presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the Alaska State Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Museum)
Here’s what’s happening for First Friday in March

Both the state and city museums are celebrating 20 years of artistic… Continue reading

Goose Creek Correctional Center is seen in fall. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Corrections)
Alaska prison failed to provide adequate dental care to inmates, state investigator finds

Goose Creek Correctional Center has gone years without a hygienist, forcing patients to wait

Most Read