LBS was founded on 7 November 1946 in order to ‘get back to Bach in its original form. Since foundation, the Society has built up an enviable reputation for its pioneering work to make Bach’s repertoire more widely known and appreciated in the UK, especially the lesser known works. Continually building on its considerable musical legacy, LBS centres its performing work around an annual Bachfest (c.31 October – 10 November) that was founded in 1990.

Under founder Paul Steinitz’s direction from 1946-1988 the Society’s pioneering projects have changed the way we approach the study and performance of Bach’s music in this country. These 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 RAM Bach Cantata series completed in December 2018, with one of the concerts dedicated to their former student for his centenary in 2009.

Now in its eighth decade, London Bach Society is building upon this musical legacy, supporting young musicians and encouraging new audiences as well as its bedrock policy to enhance modern Bach scholarship today. The Society is part of a global Bach community of organisations devoted to the study and performance of Bach. It is a community that embraces all four corners of the world.

Our Artistic Director is Margaret Steinitz (pictured) Click on the link to view Margaret’s biography http://www.bachlive.co.uk/about/artistic-director/

Our Mission

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 founded in 1968 Steinitz Bach Players  http://www.bachlive.co.uk/about/steinitz-bach-players/ 

A snapshot of our projects and achievements

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
  • 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
  • 1964  Tour to Halle and Leipzig – the first western cultural group to cross the Berlin Wall
  • 1968 Foundation of Steinitz Bach Players
  • 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 supported by the British Council
  • 1990 Annual Bach Festival founded
  • 1994 LBS hosts and promotes the first ever visit to the UK by the Leipzig Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Boys’ Choir)
  • 1996 LBS Golden Jubilee concert directed by Bach authority Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012)
  • 1997-2001 The Society’s first education programme promoted within Bachfest in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music
  • 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
  • 2009 The 18-30 Bach Club launched at Bachfest
  • 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 including a specially commissioned chorale prelude from the composer Diana Burrell as part of William Whitehead’s Orgelbüchlein Project
  • 2017  Participation in Reformation 500 (1517-2017)
  • 2018  Steinitz Bach Players Golden 50th
  • 2021  LBS 75th Anniversary

Click on the link  to read the full story so far   www.bachlive.co.uk/about/history

Our Network of Support

We are supported by private donors, public grants, trusts and foundations and we invite you to become a Bach Friend. From as little as £50 rising to £1,000 +, you can become a donor and help us to make things happen. Click on the link to join  http://www.bachlive.co.uk/bach-friends-be-one-of-the-first-and-donate-online/

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.



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