Early in 2014, whilst hastily on a coffee run in between gigs on a busy day, violinist Adrienne Andisheh was approached by Jeehyun Lee aka Jee. Jee had spotted the violin case Adrienne had over her shoulder, and had assumed correctly that she was a classical musician. Jee proceeded to tell Adrienne briefly about her hope to bring live Bach performances to the streets of Los Angeles in honor of his birthday, but she knew only one classical musician. She asked if Adrienne would like to perform and if she knew others who might be interested. They exchanged contact information, and as they parted ways, Jee handed Adrienne a stack of flyers with the image of J.S. Bach wearing a birthday hat. Adrienne was immediately intrigued, charmed and excited--this idea to celebrate Bach and give the gift of his music on his birthday--it was so simple and beautiful. Less than a month later, she was an eager participant in the very first Bach in the Subways LA (BitS) and has been ever since.
The inaugural 2014 BitS LA performances were at four Metro stops with 38 musicians participating. All day Jee hopped on trains to one performance to another and it was amazing to see that people sought out the performances and came out ... For the final performance of the day, Adrienne had organized an ensemble of strings to play outside the Civic Center station. It was cold and so windy that their music kept flying off the musicians’ stands. there was an energy and a connection with the audience that Adrienne had never experienced before performing in any hall, and all those who participated that day knew they had been a part of something unique and special.
Over five short years of collaboration, Jee and Adrienne have seen their BitS LA event grow from its very humble beginnings to the now large-scale festival aka the Bach Marathon held at the beautiful and iconic Union Station in DTLA. It truly does “take a village” to bring this event to fruition. Thanks to Jee & Adrienne’s combined vision, efforts & tenacity, as well as help from their partners at Union Station, Metro and the many musicians and organizers who share belief in this 100% volunteer event and work tirelessly, BitS LA has gone from a handful of audience members to literally thousands of people coming to the 10 Hour Bach Marathon every year. From youth concerts, to amateur and professional players from various musical backgrounds, the Bach Marathon represents and celebrates the beautiful diversity of our vibrant city. And they’ve only just begun. In February 2018, Jee & Adrienne launched their new production company see/hear LA, so they can bring the beauty of live classical music from different composers and genres creatively to audiences year-round.
“At see/hear LA, our intention is to create a positive and approachable environment where people from all walks of life can explore and enjoy classical music—where each person feels free to connect and experience the impact of the music in their own unique way. We approach our projects with a sense of wonder and humor, that we hope is imbued in the experiences we craft. We are passionate about audience equality, and strive to bring high-caliber performances to underserved communities with affordable, flat-rate seating for all. We can’t wait to bring our new ideas to LA audiences, and to share with them the sounds we think are important to hear in welcoming spaces.”
– Jee & Adrienne, creators of the 10 Hour Bach Marathon at Union Station by see/hear LA.