Steinitz Bach Players

Orchestra Manager: Philippa Brownsword

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Steinitz Bach Players celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2018

Portrait of an orchestra – There’s more to this band than meets the eye….


Recent  Press:

” The Steinitz Bach Players brought a wealth of experience and virtuosity to this music and each section made its own special contribution, strings and continuo, woodwind and brass, including a remarkable natural horn in the bass solo Quoniam. The playing was majestic in its quality and inherent sympathy with the changing moods of the music”.  – This is Bath – Mass in B minor at Bath Bach Festival.


Our beginnings…

Paul Steinitz founded SBP in 1968 in order to enhance modern Bach scholarship in ‘live’ performances and move into the next stage of his long term artistic plan to get back to Bach in its original form by hand-picking the players from among those sympathetic to his musical priorities.  This meant using instruments and musical forces with which the composer would have been familiar.  In many respects he was ahead of his time. Using period instruments meant the listener entering a new sound world and Paul began to pursuade them along this path in 1962, when he introduced the natural (clarino) trumpet  into the chamber orchestra at a performance of Bach’s Magnificat in D at the City of London Festival. Below is the portrait by Elias Haussmann of Bach’s trumpeter, Gottfried Reicha holding his clarino trumpet. Replicas of this were played in the LBS 1962 concert and formed part of the Exhibit at the Royal Academy of Music to mark the Society’s 70th anniversary.  More period instruments were introduced  later including the baroque flute, cornett and Sackbutt.  The violone was added to the continuo section from 1969.

Bach's trumpeter Gottfried Reicha holding his clarino trumpet

The SBP  provides a fully professional orchestra for the London Bach Society. Its original founder members were all sympathetic to Paul Steinitz’s ideals. They were the violinist Alan Loveday, oboist Tess Miller, trumpeter Michael Laird, violist Duncan Druce, cellist Jennifer Ward Clarke and violone/viola da gamba Adam Skeaping. Since foundation a wealth of distinguished specialist players has graced the orchestra’s concert platform, with the creation of opportunity for newcomers to enter the profession via the SBP an active policy. Notable debutantes on the period instrument include the recorder player and baroque flautist Rachel Beckett and the baroque oboist and director Anthony Robson.

Pioneering a new sound world

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