Formed in 1979 by its conductor Peter Seymour, the Yorkshire Bach Choir (= YBC) has gained a national reputation for the very high quality of its work. It is the only choir in the North that regularly performs newly edited and rediscovered masterpieces of earlier centuries, and its contribution to the musical life of the city and county of York has been widely recognised and praised by both critics and a loyal and appreciative audience from Yorkshire, and throughout the UK and overseas. The choir performs both unaccompanied and regularly with leading players of period instruments who form the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists. The choir also works with internationally renowned singers, many of whom appear regularly in its York concert seasons.
Although much of Yorkshire Bach Choir's work focuses on music of the 17th and 18th centuries, its repertoire extends backwards to 16th century polyphony and forwards to newly commissioned works. Much of the repertoire is specially edited for the choir, and it has given the first modern performances of many valuable early choral works. In addition, it is committed to developing a performing style that seeks to recreate that in use at the time of composition. This includes experiments in authentic pronunciation, including Latin church music sung with the pronunciation appropriate to the place where it was written - recent concerts have seen the choir use, for example, Spanish, Mexican, German and Tudor English pronunciation.
Among the music that has been specially edited for the choir is Duncan Druce's completion of Mozart's Requiem, which was commissioned by the choir for performance at the 1984 York Festival. A recording of Druce's version by Yorkshire Bach Choir has recently been issued on CD, to critical acclaim. Other recordings by Yorkshire Bach Choir include a Festal Mass from the Imperial Court of Vienna and the six Bach Motets (BWV 225-230), which both received excellent reviews. The choir has also recorded for West German Radio, BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, French Radio and Television, and Yorkshire Television.