Bach Cantata Tour: USA, Germany & UK

Saturday 13th June to Sunday 21st June 2015 – Boston/New York/ Thomaskirche, Leipzig/Dukes Hall, Royal Academy of Music

Božidar Smiljanić– Bass-Baritone  (13th and 19th June)

New collaboration with the Juilliard School and Masaaki Suzuki

The Royal Academy of Music in London and the Juilliard School in New York are pleased to announce their newest collaboration. In June 2015, historical performance instrumentalists and singers from these two world-renowned conservatories will combine to perform in the United States and Europe, conducted by renowned Bach authority Masaaki Suzuki. The orchestra and chorus will be divided equally between students from each conservatory, with each institution also providing one soloist for JS Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. The concertmaster of the orchestra will be Rachel Podger, the Royal Academy of Music’s Micaela Comberti Chair of Baroque Violin.

After rehearsals in New York, the specially-formed group will perform at the Boston Early Music Festival (13th June 2015), Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York (15th June 2015), and in Bach’s own St Thomas Church in Leipzig (19th June 2015) as part of the Leipzig Bach Festival. The final performance will be at the Academy’s Duke’s Hall in London on 21st June 2015, as part of the seventh year of the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series.

Complete programme:
JS Bach Cantata Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75 (The meek shall eat)
JS Bach Double Violin Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1043
JS Bach Cantata Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11 (Praise God in His kingdoms/Ascension Oratorio)

For more information click HERE.

Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series Sunday 21st June 2015 – 12pm – Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music

JS Bach Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75 (The meek shall eat)
JS Bach Double Violin Concerto, BWV 1043
JS Bach Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11 (Praise God in His kingdoms/Ascension Oratorio)

Rachel Podger leader
Masaaki Suzuki conductor
Soloists, Choir and Orchestra from the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Juilliard School, New York

Performed on period instruments


The first cantata that Bach would perform as the new Thomascantor in Leipzig, ‘Die Elenden sollen essen’ BWV 75, represents a dramatic statement of
intent. Performed on the first Sunday after Trinity in May 1723, the cantata takes the thematic dualism of the Gospel reading (the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus) as its musical inspiration. Bipartite in structure, Bach takes us on a tour de force, with dance-like arias, dense orchestral polyphony, and virtuosic writing for trumpet.

The Concerto for two violins, strings and continuo in D minor, BWV 1043, more commonly known as the ‘Bach Double’, was composed between 1717 and 1723, whilst Bach was Kapellmeister at the court of Prince Leopold at Anhalt-Köthen. During this time Bach indulged in instrumental forms, also composing the Brandenburg concerti and the solo works for violin and cello. The Double Concerto is strongly modelled on the Vivaldian concerto, and exemplifies Bach’s refined contrapuntal style. The outer movements boast textural ingenuity and rhythmic vivacity. However, the jewel of the concerto is the central slow movement: long melodic lines pass between the solo violins with the generosity and intimacy of two friends that finish each other’s sentences.

Evidence suggests that ‘Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen’ BWV 11 was performed on 19th May 1735, on the Feast of Ascension. This would mean that the cantata, known as the Ascension Oratorio, was written only a few months after the completion of the enormous Christmas Oratorio. And like its Christmas counterpart, the cantata BWV 11 opens with a chorus in dazzling D major with full festive orchestra including three trumpets, timpani, two flutes, two oboes, strings and continuo. The work closely follows
the shape of the parts of the Christmas Oratorio, with large choruses framing a central section containing biblical narrative set in aria, recitative and chorale form.

This concert follows performances in New York and at the Boston Early Music and Leipzig Bach Festival.

Special price: tickets £18 (concessions £14), season discounts available, on sale online now, by telephone 020 7873 7300 (weekdays, 10.00am–4.00pm).

Each cantata concert begins at midday and lasts around one hour. The Academy’s restaurant will be open for light refreshments from 10.30am until the start of each concert.

For more information and booking click HERE.