About Leipzig’s Bach-Archiv, the world’s pre-eminent Bach research centre

Situated in the elegant Thomaskirchhof and immediately opposite the city’s Thomaskirche is one of the most important institutions in the world of music today.

Originally founded in 1950, the Bach bi-centenary year, the Archiv’s chief mission then was to rescue Bach documents, manuscripts and other composer-related material from the rubble of WWII and take them into care. Now, half a century later and in the post-German reunification era, the Archiv’s detailed survey of current archival and library material in central Germany has provided a fresh, exciting and valuable on going purpose, begun by the centre’s former Director, international Bach expert Professor Dr Christoph Wolff. This is now continued apace by his successor Professor Peter Wollny (pictured) and a team of expert archivists and editors.

The Bach world of performers, scholars and audiences is a truly global community now, with his music fascinating and enlightening in both hemispheres, across the continents, north, south, east, west… and played on practically any instrument you care to name. By dedicating a page to the work of the Leipzig Bach-Archiv, LBS is playing its part in disseminating more widely the fresh information that flows from the research programmes being carried out. Click on the links at the foot of the page.

PROF PETER WOLLNY Professor Dr. Peter Wollny

Notable discoveries, an acquisition, a very special bequest and why the Bach-Archiv is important

The discoveries made by the very able Archive team, led by their Director, inform our performances and they often find precious missing pieces from the jigsaw puzzle that is Bach’s life and work. These also assist us in the on-going mission to fire the musical imagination of the new generations that will follow us and to open the door to Bach’s music to new audiences in the years ahead.

It was researcher Dr Michael Maul who discovered a new Bach Aria in a shoebox at the Anna Amalia Library at Weimar in 2005 for example, the first such discovery for seven decades. Since then a steady stream of new discoveries has flowed as the result of what is undoubtedly long and painstaking work. Furthermore, Dr Christine Blanken’s research revealed in 2015 the hitherto unknown identity of the likely librettist for the Third Cycle of Bach’s Cantatas (1726-27), Christoph Birkmann, a hugely significant discovery. What will emerge next…?

Bach Digital Website

The Bach-Digital website, up and running for the past three years, is stocked full of information about the Bach repertoire, including the precious manuscripts, and is a virtual paradise. Click on the link www.bach-digital.de

Latest Announcement

An announcement by the Bach-Archiv made in February 2017 revealed the latest good news that the score of Bach’s Cantata BWV 20 “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” (Leipzig 1724) had been purchased for 1.98 million Euros, thanks to some very generous donors, and was now safely back in Leipzig. On the occasion of its formal presentation to the Leipzig public and press, Professor Wollny made the following remarks….

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