Navigate to our Tributes section for postings about Denys Darlow (1921-2015) and Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)
Monday 16 March
Bach Notes will be published and available either to download from this website in a PDF (you will need Adobe Reader for this), circulated by email or post. The packed edition will include features on the Bach Singers Prize, Bach Club, Bach’s city celebrates its millennium (1015-2015), Leipzig Thomaskantor to retire, News and views from the world of Bach.
Saturday 6 June Bach at Langstone
The Notebooks of Anna Magdalena Bach with Kate Semmens soprano and Steven Devine harpsichord
This is a delicious recital comprised of arias, keyboard suites and miniatures to be found in the Notebooks Bach specially compiled at Cöthen in 1722 and at Leipzig in 1725 for his devoted and very musical second wife Anna Magdalena Bach. The recital is given in the gracious surroundings of Langstone Court in Llangarron, Herefordshire by kind invitation of Richard Jones, Chairman of the London Bach Society’s Council. www.devinemusic.co.uk
Booking opens on 1 February and details may be found on Langstone’s website. Early booking is recommended as seating is limited. Visit www.langstone-court.org.uk
Bach Notes 25th Anniversary Festival Edition will be published.
LBS 25th Anniversary Bachfest Autumn 2015
We are busy fund-raising and preparing for our 25th anniversary Bachfest and planning a special series of events to celebrate. The Festival programme will have a Leipzig theme and begin from 24 September. Details will be posted on our website in due course.
Become a Bach Friend
Bach Friends supports the London Bach Society, its annual Bach Festival and other activities. Details are on the Bach Friends pages and you can join online. We look forward to welcoming you.
RCO Forum Talk, originally delivered by Margaret Steinitz on 1 November 2014
This is now available to read or download from the Bach in Context section “Widor, Reger, Karg-Elert and the link to Bach”
The latest article about the London Bach Society
The latest article about the London Bach Society has been published, this time in The Organ Magazine. Commissioned by the magazine, it is entitled “An Essay on our Journey to Bach” and written by Margaret Steinitz, LBS Artistic Director. An extract appears on their website http://www.theorganmag.com
London Bach Society’s Bachfest celebrates its 25th anniversary in autumn 2015 (24 Sept- mid-December)
Founded in 1990, the LBS’s annual Bachfest is a series that combines high quality professional performances with a complementary education programme all around the story of Bach from his lifetime to the on-going inspiration his works provide for composers today . The series will feature the different genre in Bach’s collection of works – chamber music to the great Passions – incorporating the latest in Bach research and all to enhance our audience’s enjoyment of Bach’s fabulous treasury of music and have some fun.
Steinitz Bach Players is the resident orchestra and our platform is graced by some of the finest Bach scholars and performers of the present time. Some of the key events planned for the autumn 2015 is Bach’s Complete Organ Works in collaboration with St. George’s Hanover Square, the 5th Bach Singers Prize, a special 18-30 Bach Club, a Bachfest 25th celebration and Bachfest Supper. The full programme will be announced later in the year.
Join us and get involved. Become a Bach Friend - Click on the link below You can join online. http://www.bachlive.co.uk/bach-for-life-campaign/bach-friends-be-one-of-the-first-and-donate-online/
Newcastle Bach Choir celebrates its centenary in 2o15
One of the riches of our musical life in this country is the large number of thriving choral societies. One in particular celebrates its centenary this year, its foundation and purpose of particular interest and significance in the Bach world.
Newcastle Bach Choir was founded in 1915 by Bach scholar and writer W G Whittaker. Whittaker’s two-volume book on Bach’s Cantatas was staple reading matter for many years and has only been superceded by the fruits of that modern Bach research has revealed since his death.
With WW1 into its second year and amidst considerable anti-German sentiment, Whittaker gathered together 24 singers to perform the church cantatas (albeit in English), which he rightly proclaimed were almost completely neglected here in the early 20th century. Bach remains a key composer for the choir to this day and on Bach’s birthday (21 March) they will perform the Mass in B minor, which itself is not a million miles away from the cantatas is it? More events will be announced on the choir’s website.
All good wishes from the London Bach Society for your centenary year. www.newcastlebachchoir.org.uk
Happy New Year 2015
We should like to wish all our followers in the UK and from around the world a very Happy New JSB Year 2015, good health, happiness and lots of JSB.
Keep in touch with LBS throughout the year as we update our webpages and create new ones and join us as a Bach Friend to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary Bachfest in October/November.
Towards Christmas with Bach
Scroll down for links to concert diaries that will tell you about a Christmas Bach concert near you
The month of December saw some significant events in Bach’s life. For example it was in December that the Bachs moved to Cöthen in 1717 where the wonderful Brandenburg Concertos were completed. However, it was in his post at Leipzig that perhaps Bach was best able to give full vent to his creative powers at Christmas and New Year.
There would be some drawbacks… perishing cold in the churches! However Bach would have still been beavering away preparing for the Christmas celebrations to come and we have some truly magical music to hand…Christmas and New Year cantatas, Magnificats in E flat and D and the deeply moving yet utterly joyous Christmas Oratorio of 1734/1735.
Leipzig approaches 1000th anniversary (1015-2015)
Today, Leipzig has one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. It is held in the famous Markt Platz in front of the Old Town Hall just a few minutes’ walk from the main Leipzig churches, the Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche where Bach’s Christmas and other music was performed between the two venues. There will be a feast of his music performed at the Thomaskirche again this year including the annual three performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio given by the Thomanerchor on 12, 13 and 14 December….also an exciting way to greet 2015, the city of Leipzig’s 1000th anniversary.
Follow us as we help to celebrate the Leipzig anniversary on our website, in our Journal and our at Bachfest in Oct/Nov 2015.
Enjoy your Christmas Bach!
With a sparkling performance of Bach’s fifth Brandenburg Concerto at 2014 Bachfest still ringing in our ears, we move on towards our 25th Anniversary Bachfest in 2015. Planning is already underway and we look forward to announcing the programme in the spring. The theme will reflect the City of Leipzig’s 1000th Anniversary and Bach’s year’s serving as the City’s Cantor from 1723-1750.
Bachfest 2015 from 31 October-mid December
Become a Bach Friend – Join Online today
Launched in 2013, the list of Bach Friends is growing in number. Bach Friends support the work of the London Bach Society and its annual Bachfest. By joining the Bach Friends you will be helping us to make things happen.
You can join online by navigating to the Bach Friends page where you will find more details, can survey the choices and access a donate button. Gift Aid can be applied, increasing the value of your Bach Friendship.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Dr. William H Scheide (1914-2014)
The death has been announced today of the philanthropist and Bach devotee Dr. William Scheide. Paul and I met Dr. Scheide at a performance of Bach’s Johannes-Passion my husband was directing in Princeton. Scheide then invited us to his home to talk ‘Bach’ and he later showed us the original Haussmann portrait (1748) and some manuscripts in the Scheide Library. We were honoured. Dr. Scheide was not only a generous philanthropist, but also an active performer, directing the Bach Aria Group across America for 34 years and bringing Bach’s music into the lives of many who would otherwise not have had the chance to hear the music ‘live’. The Bach world has lost a real friend. www.bach-archiv.de
Sir David Tang wins Asian Arts Award
Watch this clip and see our President receive his richly deserved award
Judith Weir is appointed Master of the Queen’s Music
The appointment of the composer Judith Weir CBE as Master of the Queen’s Music in succession to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is announced today. She is the first female to hold this historic position. Many congratulations and good wishes. For more information visit www.musicsalesclassical.com.
Sir John Tavener’s Service of Thanksgiving
A Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Work of the composer Sir John Tavener took place on 11 June in the splendour and spiritual atmosphere of Westminster Abbey. The congregation was a mix of specially invited guests, musical colleagues and audience followers.
HRH The Prince of Wales, a personal friend of the composer, attended in a private capacity.
The Address was given by Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Bible Readings were delivered by Simon Russell Beale and Sir Magdi Yacoub, and Tavener’s eldest daughter Theodora read a moving piece her father wrote specially for his three children. The music was provided by the Choir of Westminster Abbey directed by James O’Donnell, the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Layton, soloists Nicholas Daniel, Stephen Isserlis, Thomas Gould and the soprano Patricia Rozario.
Among the invited guests was Mrs Margaret Steinitz who also represented the London Bach Society. The late Dr. Paul Steinitz with the London Bach Society choir (1947-1989) gave the first professional public performance of a Tavener work, his Three Holy Sonnets of John Donne, on 20 July 1964 in the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, West Smithfield fifty years ago. The composer was just 20. There followed a lifelong friendship and musical association with the significant musical figure that is the late John Tavener.