After a tremendous initial offering of Bach’s St. John Passion in 2017, the Illinois Bach Academy will return in 2018 with an intimate look into Bach’s Cantatas.
As music director for the city of Leipzig, one of J.S. Bach’s duties was to compose a cantata each week which was then sung as the central music offering on Sunday—except for the period of Lent, when no complex music with independent instruments was heard. Over his years as Thomaskantor, Bach performed five cantatas on the last Sunday before this “quiet time,” all of which point forward to the great Passion settings which broke the Lenten silence. This year’s Bach Academy explores these cantatas, four by J.S. himself (BWV 22, 23, 127, and 159), and one by his second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach (Ja, mir hast du Arbeit gemacht).
The Academy faculty includes some of the country’s leading experts in the study and performance of 17th- and 18th-century music, including musicologist Robin Leaver, Baroque violinists Nancy Wilson and Leah Gale Nelson, conductor Andrew Megill, and members of Fuma Sacra, one of the country’s finest professional vocal ensembles specializing in early music, as well as members of the Fuma Sacra Baroque Orchestra. The Academy is designed for musicians of all experience levels, united by their interest in the music of Bach. A week of study and rehearsal will culminate in this evening’s concert.
Intermezzo cafe, Stage 5 Bar, and Promenade showcase + gift shop will be open for this event.