LBS is part of a Bach community that is global, one that embraces all four corners of the world.
Our President is Sir David Tang, (pictured) a well-known Hong Kong-based businessman and Patron of the Arts. His flair and imagination have enabled us to present some Bach projects that are just that little bit different and to embrace other art forms – but always with JSB at the centre.
Our Artistic Director is Margaret Steinitz whose late husband, the eminent Bach scholar and conductor Paul Steinitz (1988-2009), founded LBS. Click on the link to view Margaret’s biography www.bachlive.co.uk/about/contact
LBS is performance-driven. An independent spirit, all the Society does flows to and from the ‘live’ experience enabling the performer and listener to draw closer to Bach, his music, his life and times and to be inspired and enriched by them. We promote our own professional period-instrument orchestra, Steinitz Bach Players, founded in 1968.
We are supported by private donors, trusts and foundations. To support us become a Bach Friend (Navigate to Bach Friends page). Bach Friends can get involved for as little as £50 rising to £1,000 +.
Under founder Paul Steinitz’s direction the Society’s pioneering projects have changed the way we approach the performance of Bach’s music in this country. They have opened the door to Bach’s magnificent treasury of music for many generations of performers and listeners, and inspired other conductors and musicians to explore the vast corpus of Bach’s music more deeply themselves here in the UK. An alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music, Paul Steinitz is an inspiration for the current RAM Bach Cantata series begun in 2009 and one of the concerts was dedicated to their former student for his centenary.
Our history, commissions and other articles about us can be found by navigating to the various pages on site, but here is a snapshot of our major concert series, events and projects to date: -
- 1952 First performance in UK of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion (1736) in its complete and original German form
- 1956 First UK performance of Stravinsky’s Canticum Sacrum,
- 1958-1987 The first complete cycle in Britain of Bach’s extant church and secular cantatas to be given in public using professional forces
- 1962 First use of the clarino trumpet in modern times presented at City of London Festival. This was followed later in the 1960s by the first use of the cornett, sackbut and baroque flute, spearheading the period instrument revival of the 1970s
- 1968 Foundation of Steinitz Bach Players
- 1976 Steinitz Bach Players records major series of Bach’s Cantatas on BBC Radio 3; a first for the network using period instruments.
- 1983 London Bach Society Choir with Steinitz Bach Players performs Bach’s Mass in B minor at St. Thomas’ Church Leipzig as part of Martin Luther Year celebrations for his 500th birthday – supported by the British Council
- 1987 LBS historic Bach Cantata Cycle completed
- 1990 Annual Bach Festival founded
- 1994 LBS hosts and promotes the first ever visit to the UK by the Leipzig Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Boys’ Ch oir)
- 1996 LBS Golden Jubilee concert directed by Gustav Leonhardt
- 1997-2001 The Society’s first education programme promoted within Bachfest in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music including Bach Days, Master Classes, recitals and concerts
- 1999-2007 Bach Cantata Services become a feature of Festivals
- 2000 Bach and China Gala at St. James’ Palace for Bach’s 250th in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales KG
- 2005 The presentation of the UK live première performance of a newly discovered Bach Aria ‘Alles mit Gott…’ BWV 1127, the first genuine Bach discovery for 70 years.
- 2006-2007 LBS Diamond Jubilee
- 2006-2008 ‘Dance to Bach’ schools project
- 2009 The 18-30 Bach Club launched at Bachfes
- 2012 Collaboration with the Royal College of Organists London Organ Forum
- 2013 UK ‘live’ première of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion BWV 244b (early version), 4th Bach Singers Prize and Bach Club Commission from Robert Peate
- 2015 25th Anniversary Bachfest
- 2016 LBS 70th anniversary
Click on the link to read the full story so far www.bachlive.co.uk/about/history
Your way to Bach begins here… and the keys that will unlock the doors to musical discovery and adventure for you, your family and your friends are held in the various links and throughout our Webpages.