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Bach: A Beautiful Mind weekend

A weekend in the company of a genius

THURSDAY 8 – SUNDAY 11 MARCH 2012

STOPPRESSAngela Hewitt concert cancelled

• Thomanerchor Leipzig (celebrating 800th anniversary) and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig perform St Matthew Passion
• Motets and cello suites from Ex Cathedra
• Best-loved Bach with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
• Rush Hour Blues: David Rees-Williams Trio
• Bach Discovery Day

A weekend celebrating the genius of Bach will take place at Town Hall and Symphony Hall over Thursday 8 – Sunday 11 March featuring some of the composer’s greatest exponents in concerts of his vocal, choral, instrumental and orchestral music, as well as a jazz session and discovery day. The centrepiece of the mini-festival is a performance of St Matthew Passion by the Thomanerchor Leipzig – this year celebrating an incredible 800-year history – and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, providing the highlight of the weekend as part of Symphony Hall’s 21st anniversary season. Other artists include pianist Angela Hewitt, Ex Cathedra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the David Rees-Williams Trio.

Surveying a variety of aspects of the work of this most universal of composers, Bach: A Beautiful Mind opens on Thursday 8 March at Town Hall with a concert of motets and cello suites performed by Ex Cathedra with Jeffrey Skidmore. Symphony Hall’s regular free Rush Hour Blues session, presented in association with Birmingham Jazz, is given over to the David Rees-Williams Trio renowned for their swinging versions of Bach’s best known works (Friday 9 March, Symphony Hall Level 3 Bar). Bach wrote St Matthew Passion while he was Cantor of the Thomanerchor Leipzig and in 2012 this most respected choir reaches the venerable age of 800. They are joined by the equally illustrious Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under current Cantor Georg Christoph Biller at Symphony Hall on Friday 9 March.

On Saturday 10 March, producer, journalist and broadcaster, Graeme Kay, leads the Bach Discovery Day – a mixture of live music and talks that will explore topics such as Bach on the piano, Bach Fever, Bach the improviser, and the everyday social context of Bach’s world. Guest panellists will include David Owen Norris, Chris de Souza, Ronny Krippner and Hannah French. The same evening, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, directed by Laurence Cummings, performs some of Bach’s best-known works including the Violin Concerto in E (with soloist Matthew Truscott), Orchestral Suites and Brandenburg Concerto No 5. Finally, the celebrated pianist and Bach interpreter Angela Hewitt, concludes the weekend with a selection of music including Two-Part Inventions and English and French Suites.

Paul Keene, Director of Programming & Projects for Town Hall & Symphony Hall said, “Daily life cannot have been easy for this extraordinary human being, whether dealing with the humdrum frustrations of church politics or the tragedy of infant mortality. And yet, throughout it all Bach continued to spin a golden thread of the most sublime music. This weekend will be an opportunity to reflect on why his music exercises a continuing fascination, not just for musicians and audiences, but also for scientists, philosophers and theologians.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Town Hall & Symphony Hall Box Office 0121 780 3333
On-line booking: www.thsh.co.uk
Bach: A Beautiful Mind series dates, events and prices

Twitter: @thshbirmingham #sh21
Facebook: Town Hall Symphony Hall