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Going East first, then to Brazil, the New World and the Future: a preview of the Australian Bach Society 2017 program

We are excited to announce the Australian Bach Society program for 2017. There is a line-up of accomplished local and international performers delighting us with works by J.S. Bach and many other composers:

  • During the month of March 2017, in a world premiere, Dr Mark Smith rediscovers the St. Matthew Passion: J.S. Bach ‘Funeral Music for Prince Leopold of Anhalt/Koethen’ BWV 244a. 
  • In April, Pavel Kohout from Prague, delights us with an organ recital themed 'Bach and The New World' 
  • Professor Friedemann and Alexia Eichhorn from the Franz-Liszt Conservatorium in Weimar/Germany take us to the 'future' with a violin concert which also features Din Din Wang, Winner of the 2016 Bach Competition – ABS Encouragement Award.
  • In June ABS will again this year sponsor the ABS Encouragement Award 2017 as part of the Bach Competition, Melbourne Recital Centre.
  • Around July/August, we are going 'East' with piano recitals by Dr. Roman Salyutov from St Petersburg and Cologne 
  • In September, Telemann meets Piazzola, Granados and Hebrew when Ester Schöpf (violin) and Norbert Groh (piano) take us on a musical journey. The same month, Bach continues the journey to Brazil when Friedemann Wuttke performs on the guitar. The September program is rounded off with J.S. Bach ‘Orgelmesse’ – Third Part of the Clavier Uebung (Organ Mass) expanded by chorale hymns, arranged by Jennifer Chou from the Toorak Uniting Church.
  • In October, as part of the 500 Years Reformation celebrations in 2017, Roland Voit from Hagen, Germany will play the organ at the Toorak Uniting Church. 
  • In December, ABS is proud to again present the J.S. Bach ‘Weihnachts-Oratorium’ (Christmas Oratorio) which has become a regular feature of the ABS program.

Check details on our 'Upcoming events' page. Some dates and venues still need to be confirmed so it is best to sign up to e-news to receive regular updates.

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Secure your tickets now for Schemelli Songbook on 7 May

Robert Macfarlane, an Australian tenor now residing in Leipzig will perform Schemelli Songbook and liturgical music of Weimar/Leipzig – with John O’Donnell (harpsichord) and Laura Vaughan (viola da gamba) at the German Lutheran Trinity Church. Tickets can be booked online.

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How the St Matthew Passion came to Australia

An academic symposium on the first Australian performances of the J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion, initiated by the Australian Bach Soceity, was an event long wished for by the musicologists Dr Janice Stockigt and Dr Samantha Owens.

On 15 September 2012, several leading early music scholars gave a fascinating insight into the first Australian performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Dr Andreas Loewe (photo), Chaplain of Trinity Col-lege, asked an audience of some 50 people “What happened to lead to a Melbourne performance of this previously unknown work being la-belled ‘the greatest of all the holiday gatherings’ in 1875?” According to Dr Janice Stockigt from The University of Melbourne, Mendelssohn’s resurrection of Bach, together with reports published in The Musical Times, had sparked British interest, which in turn influenced Australia. “The concert illustrates the rapidity with which Melbourne society emulated what was seen to be in vogue in England,” added Stockigt.

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