‘Hearing Bach played well on period instruments has usually meant driving to Sydney or Melbourne. Well, those days are over.’ (Judith Crispin, Review, Canberra City News, 29 October 2018).
Building on their highly successful 2018 concert program, the Canberra Bach Ensemble (CBE) is seeking support for their 2019 season.
Canberra’s own dedicated Bach Ensemble was founded in 1999 by Andrew Koll, an Australian conductor and Bach scholar. For over 20 years Andrew Koll has been promoting the music of J.S. Bach in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney through concerts, seminars and audiovisual presentations. Based around a multi voice choir and orchestra, the Ensemble performs with period instruments and presents historically informed programs.
Their work has received positive critical acclaim, and they are honoured to announce that they have been invited to perform at the 2020 Leipzig Bachfest. They will be representing Australia at this significant and highly regarded festival, which in 2020 has the theme ‘We are family’.
The Canberra Bach Ensemble has a strong level of audience support, but the costs of staging concerts on period instruments are significant and cannot be completely financed through ticket sales. The CBE is committed to nurturing local musicians by giving them the opportunity to perform Bach’s music in an authentic manner, but there are added and ongoing expenses for the participant musicians, such as purchasing new strings and bows. Some specialist players need to be contracted from interstate, and this adds extra travel and accommodation costs to the budget.
In March 2019 the CBE will be presenting a program of Cantatas, BWV 22, 23 and 127 and the Mass in F major, BWV 233. These works are linked by their use of the German Agnus Dei, the ‘Christe du Lamm Gottes’ chorale. In October the CBE will present a joyous brass focused program of cantatas and the Magnificat. This program will require additional funding in order to cover the costs of the interstate Baroque brass musicians.
The Canberra Bach Ensemble will extend its marketing campaign in 2019 to promote their concerts beyond the Canberra region, and additional funding is sought for this purpose. Through fine musical performance and intelligent programming, Andrew Koll and the CBE hope to entice their audience to engage deeply with Bach’s music, and to find delight and inspiration in its artistic beauty.