BACHFEST 2017 “Bach and Luther: Masters and Servants”

14 October – 10 November 2017

Saturday 14 October from 2.30pm-4.30pm  Gresham Centre, Gresham Street EC2   

“All that have voice…”

The Tenebrae Effect”,  a community choral workshop on motets by Bach and Schütz with members of Tenebrae directed by the choir’s founder Nigel Short.   The motets to be studied, sung and enjoyed are 1st and last chorale “Jesu, meine Freude” BWV 227,  the 1st chorus of “Komm, Jesu, komm” BWV 229, and the motet “Das ist je gewißlich wahr” SWV 277 by Heinrich Schütz.

Tickets £15.00. Students £5 (Full-time: Bring ID). Music provided.  To reserve your place and tell us which voice (SATB): Call 01883 717372 and have your card handy (Visa/MasterCard accepted). Early reservation advised.

Gresham Centre is just 5 minutes’ walk from St Paul’s tube on Central Line

6th Bach Singers Prize Competition – Bach Master Class

  • Monday 23 October from 4.15pm  St George’s Church Hanover Square London W1 

This will be led by Ian Partridge CBE   “The Art of Singing Bach Recitatives”

         Observer tickets £5  on sale at the door.

  • Tuesday 24 October at 7.00pm  BACH SINGERS PRIZE – THE SEMI FINAL   St George’s Church, Hanover Square London W1

The Semi Finalists will each perform a recitative and an aria from  Bach Passion (St Matthew Passion or St John Passion)

       Tickets £10 available by post, by phone, or at the door from 6.30pm. Full-time Students admitted Free of Charge – please bring student ID.

Click on the link to book

St George’s Church Hanover Square is 5-10 Minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus tube on Victoria/Central/Bakerloo lines.

  • Friday 27 October at 7.15pm    BACH SINGERS PRIZE – THE FINAL                         St Bartholomew-the-Great, West Smithfield EC1

The Finalists will each perform an all-Bach programme of their own devising with the SBP. They are invited to introduce their programmes and will be interviewed after their performances.

The presentation of the Prizes will follow the Jury’s decision

Steinitz Bach Players directed by Anthony Robson.

The Jury: Jessica Duchen, Ian Partridge CBE, Stephen Roberts, Anthony Robson

Tickets:  £20, £15, Student FestPass £5, available from LBS – online, by post, by phone or at the door from 6.30pm.  All seats are unreserved.

Click on the link to book

St Bartholomew-the-Great is approximately 5-10 minutes’ walk from St Paul’s tube on Central Line or 5 minutes’ walk from Barbican tube on Circle and Metropolitan/Hammersmith lines

Monday 30 October 7.30pm   St John’s Smith Square, London SW1

TENEBRAE 4  Tenebrae Choir

Described as “phenomenal (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine). Renowned for its passion and precision.

“All that have voice”  with Tenebrae, Steinitz Bach Players leader Rodolfo Richter, director Nigel Short

This concert marks 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation

Max Reger  Motet “Der Mensch lebt und bestehet ” Op. 138 No.1   Joh. Seb. Bach  Motet “Jesu, meine Freude” BWV 227  Heinrich Schütz  Motet “Das ist je gewißlich wahr ” SWV 277  Joh. Seb. Bach  Motet ” Komm, Jesu, komm” BWV 229   Max Reger  Motet “Nachtlied” Op.138 No.3  Joh. Seb. Bach  Lutheran Mass in F BWV 233,  Joh. Seb. Bach Motet “Singet dem Herrn” BWV 225

Tickets: £30, £25, £20, £15 from The Box Office at St John’s, 020 7222 1061 or

St John’s Smith Square is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Westminster tube on the Jubilee/Circle/District lines

Thursday 2 November at 7.30pm  Wax Chandlers Hall, 6 Gresham St, EC2

“Heaven is at Hand” 

The German Lute from Luther to Bach

Elizabeth Kenny (1)Elizabeth Kenny renaissance and baroque lutes

Martin Luther decided to learn the lute in 1503.  His and many other households regularly gathered to sing sacred melodies and psalms as a family group. But another way of reflecting on sacred texts was to be found under the fingertips.  Luther’s contemporaries Hans Gerle and Hans Neusidler turned chorale melodies into lute pieces with the same freedom and sense of ownership with which they set famous secular madrigals and chansons: singing the words in one’s head while playing alone.  This programme explores the works of the players Luther admired, as well as the composers – such as Josquin – from whom they borrowed.   It is also an exceptional treat to hear one of the great exponents on the Lute today perform rarely heard music in the intimate salon of Wax Chandlers Hall, the Livery Hall of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers (Candlemakers) in the City of London.

Tickets: £25, £20, Student FestPass £5  available from LBS – online, by post, by phone or at the door from 6.30pm.  All seats are unreserved

Click on the link to book

Wax Chandlers Hall is 5 minutes’ walk from St Paul’s tube on Central Line.

Friday 3 November at 7.45pm  Gresham Centre, Gresham Street EC2

18-30 Bach Club concert

Open Platform      Artists & programme to be announced

Following in the footsteps of Bach, the Club is inspired by the Friday evening concerts the composer devised and performed with his students at Zimmermann’s Coffee House in Leipzig’s fashionable Katharinenstrasse. The programme will be devised and presented by some of today’s rising stars, followed by social networking and friend-making time.

Tickets Free for 18-30s, £10.00 all others.  Advance booking, free tickets or purchased, is advised or at the door from 7.15pm.

Gresham Centre is just 5 minutes’ walk from St Paul’s tube on the Central Line

Wednesday 8 November at 7.30pm   Wax Chandlers Hall, 6, Gresham Street, EC2

“At home with Bach” 

Steinitz Bach Players Chamber Ensemble Elizabeth Walker and Christine Garrett flutes, Anthony Robson oboe & recorder, Andrew Skidmore cello, Alastair Ross harpsichord

One of Luther’s priorities was that music should be played in the home as well as in church. Following in the Reformer’s footsteps, Bach also made music at home with his family and students.  In this specially curated programme by Anthony Robson, members of Steinitz Bach Players pay homage to Luther and Bach as Masters and Servants, introduce and perform chamber and solo harpsichord works by Bach and by his close friend the prolific composer Georg Philipp Telemann. whose 250th anniversary falls this year. Once again we are in the intimate setting of the 18th century-style  Salon at Wax Chandlers Hall.

Tickets: £20,  Student FestPass £5, available online, by post, by phone or at the door from 6.45pm.

Click on the link to book:

Wax Chandlers Hall is 5 minutes’ walk from St Paul’s tube on Central Line.

Friday 10 November at 7.00pm   Closing Bachfest Concert at Temple Church, Inner Temple Lane, Temple, EC4

Bach on Luther’s Birthday”

Jane Gordon 2017  Jane Gordon

Steinitz Bach Players directed by Jane Gordon violin,  Rowan Pierce soprano, Anthony Robson & Rachel Beckett recorders

Rowan_Credit Jen Hart_025Rowan Pierce

An extraordinary musician at a Princely Court

In August 1717, Bach was put on the payroll of the highly musical, but Calvinist, Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen and took up his appointment at the Princely Court in December that year. Working at Court was a significant staging post on the career-path of composers and the Lutheran Bach struck up a warm friendship with his patron despite their worshipping in different places! To close Bachfest, we take a peek at Cöthen, pay tribute to Luther and look forward to next year and SBPs 50th celebrated at Bachfest 2018. There is more to this orchestra than meets the eye!   The programme : -

  • Telemann  “Ouverture des Nations anciens et modernes”  TWV 55   Telemann
  • Bach  Solo Cantata “Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten” BWV 202, composed for a wedding  
  • Telemann Violin Concerto in A minor TWV 51 
  • Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 4 in G  BWV 1049  
  • Bach Chorale with audience from Reformation Cantata BWV 80 

Tickets: £25, £20, £15, Student FestPass £5  available from LBS online, by post, by phone or at the door from 6.30pm.

We hope to organise a post concert reception or supper. Details and booking - coming soon.

Click on the link to book:

Temple Church is 10 minutes’ walk from Temple and Blackfriars stations on the Circle and District lines.  The best access is from Fleet Street via Middle Temple Lane (the church is signposted)

Click on the link to read more about Martin Luther and how Bach’s life and work fits in



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