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Bach Festivals & Cantata Series
London Bach Festival = London Bach Society’s Bachfest

Name:

London Bach Festival = London Bach Society’s Bachfest

Location:

London, England, UK

Venues:

Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, NW1
Priory Church of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, West Smithfield, London EC1
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place WC2
Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP
St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London W1
St. Peter’s Church, Eaton Square SW1
Dutch Church, 7 Austin Friars, EC2
Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7
St. Paul’s Church Knightsbridge, Wilton Place SW1

Years:

Since 1990 (Annual Festival)

Months:

October-November

Artistic Director:

Margaret Steinitz

Ensembles:

Steinitz Bach Players

Website:

London Bach Society: Bachfest

History & Mission:

In 1990 Dr Paul Steinitz’s widow, Margaret, founded the London Bach Festival (later renamed Bachfest). The programmes centre on J.S. Bach, his family and his contemporaries. Usually there is a theme, for example the composer at Weimar (1990) and at Leipzig (1992). The educational part of the society’s charitable purpose is expressed in the promotion of groups which deserve wider recognition, in the singing days for young amateur musicians with which the 1993 and 1996 festivals began, in public lectures, above all, in the presentation of works still rarely heard in public.
The highlight of the 1994 festival was the first visit to this country of Thomanerchor Leipzig, under their new Cantor, Professor Georg Christoph Biller. They performed the 1725 version of the John Passion in King’s College Cambridge, Westminster Abbey, Birmingham Town Hall and Wells Cathedral. BBC Radio 3 publicised the tour and recorded one of the performances. The concerts enabled the choir to sing a Bach Passion with a period-instrument orchestra, Steinitz Bach Players, for the first time since the 18th century.
UK’s close ties with the Continent are marked by the presence of eminent musicians such as Gustav Leonhardt, who directed at the LBS Golden Jubilee in 1996. The 1997 festival concentrated on Bach and the Romantic movement (in the figures of Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms), which both provided the impetus for the revival of J.S. Bach’s music and was influenced by it. The next two built upon successes in the previous years in order to prepare for the J.S. Bach 250th anniversary in 2000. Inn 2005 the UK 'live' première of a newly discovered Bach Aria Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn, BWV 1127 was given.
Sixty years after the foundation of the LBS, Dr Paul Steinitz’s vision has been realised and is being taken forward into a new century. The choirs used in the festivals are small and professional; the orchestra plays on period instruments; this country’s close ties with the Continent are marked by the presence of eminent musicians such as Gustav Leonhardt (); the participation of young performers and a substantial education programme reflects Dr Paul Steinitz’s long association with students and his widow’s determination to persuade a new generation of Bach’s greatness.

LBS’s annual Bachfest has taken the Society’s musical priorities and developed them to create a continuing platform for contemporary Bach scholars, players and singers. The programmes place the music performed in the context of J.S. Bach’s life and times, drawing on the repertory of his forebears, contemporaries, family and followers. To provide the ‘total experience’ the music is performed in appropriate buildings and uses forces with which Bach might have been familiar. Sometimes this leads the Bachfest to move away from performing in traditional venues and to step boldly towards those settings that can provide an aesthetic complement, and therefore enhanced experience for the listener.
Also it is no accident that the Festival takes place around 31 October - Reformationsfest/Reformation Festival. This is the annual celebration that marks the foundation of the Lutheran Church, which J.S. Bach served all his life and for which he provided his treasury of church music. Therefore it is an appropriate way to start setting the composer’s life and work in context and to launch the LBS annual Bachfest.
The London Bach Society’s pioneering performances have changed the way we approach the performance of Bach’s music in this country. They use instruments with which the composer would have been familiar and apply the very latest in Bach scholarship in order to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of his rich treasury of music.

Recent Festivals:

16th Festival: Oct 31-Nov 19, 2006 (LBS’s 60th Anniversary)
17th Festival: Nov 11-20, 2007
18th Festival: Nov 2-18, 2008 (Ways to Bach)
19th Festival: Oct 25-Nov 20, 2009 (Ways to Bach)
20th Festival: Oct 31-Nov 19, 2010 (Family Bach)

21st Festival: Nov 2-10, 2011 (The Composer’s Art)
22nd Festival: Nov 3+, 2012
23rd Festival: Oct 31-Nov 8, 2013
24th Festival: Oct 31-Nov 10, 2014

Logo:

20st Festival - 2010

21st Festival - 2011

22nd Festival - 2012

23rd Festival - 2013

Bach Notes Mar 2009

Bach Notes Sep 2009

Bach Notes Spring 2010

Bach Notes Autumn 2010

Bach Notes Spring 2011

Bach Notes Autumn 2011

Bach Notes Spring 2012

Bach Notes Autumn 2012

Bach Notes Spring 2013

Source: London Bach Society Website; Margaret Steinitz (January 2012)

Prepared by Aryeh Oron (December 2010 - October 2014)

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series: Main Page: Countries A-I | Page 2: Countries J-Z | Schedule of Concerts of Bach's Vocal Works
Links to Bach Festivals | Links to Bach Organizations & Societies | Discussions of Bach Festivals & Cantata Concerts
Major Bach Events: Year 2015 | Year 2014 | Year 2013 | Year 2012 | Year 2011 | Year 2010 | Year 2009

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Last update: ýOctober 8, 2014 ý13:57:28