Live Arts Maryland’s Bach+ series, presented in partnership with St. Anne's Episcopal Church, explores the infinite creativity and joy that is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Now in its fifth year, Bach+ offers much more than performances of Bach’s music within a beautiful environment (even though we are privileged to perform in historic St. Anne’s). Bach+ is about communication—exploring the musical dialogue among Bach and those who came before him as well as those who were influenced by his music. Bach+ is also about collaboration—between performer and audience as well as among performers working in variety of genres. Our series takes its inspiration from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the latest in Bach research. But Bach+ is not an early music series. While you will find "historically informed performances" (HIP) within each Bach+ season, you'll also experience works that span a number of centuries, including twenty-first century compositions and jazz improvisation.
This year, in our Bach + “Season of Seasons,” we celebrate the power of music to convey ideas and emotions. Vivaldi’s evergreen Four Seasons will be the linchpin of our Chamber Series, which also features music inspired by these concerti, such as the American Four Seasons by Philip Glass, the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla, and Vivaldi Recomposed by Max Richter. Our Cantata Vespers will explore Bach’s use of musical figuration to convey theological ideas, and will feature key cantatas for the liturgical seasons, including Cantata 20, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, which began Bach’s first annual cycle of choral cantatas at St. Thomas in Leipzig. Our Masterworks Series features Bach’s St. John Passion as well as the perennial favorite Messiah. Finally, Live Arts’ MainStage and Bach+ programs come together on April 6th, 2019 with a celebration of spring on the Chesapeake Bay.
Bach+ has four programming strands: Masterworks, Cantata Vespers, Chamber Series, and Organ Vespers. You can read more about all of this wonderful music throughout this site. As always, whether you come for all of the programs or just a few, we look forward to seeing you at St. Anne’s!
You can read more about all of this wonderful music here and throughout this site. Come for all programs or come for a few; for us, it is most important that you join in whenever you are able to listen, study and reflect on the music of this “learned musician.” In our view, the New Yorker’s Alex Ross put it best when he wrote, “Bach became an absolute master of his art by never ceasing to be a student of it.”
- J. Ernest Green and Larry Molinaro, co-directors, Bach+