Good Friday 2 April 2010

Symphony Hall Birmingham has established a long-standing tradition of presenting a Bach Passion on Good Friday. This year, on 2 April, Birmingham?s internationally renowned early music choir and ensemble, Ex Cathedra, give a performance of the composer?s St John Passion. Acclaimed soloists Jeremy Budd, James Rutherford and Greg Skidmore join Ex Cathedra Soloists, Choir and Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore.

Written in 1724, Bach?s St John Passion pre-dates his St Matthew and was first performed at a Good Friday service in Leipzig that year when it would also have included a sermon between the two Parts. This dramatic musical setting of the events of Holy Week is enduring in its emotional appeal, containing some of the composer?s most glorious music. As Kantor of St Thomas?s School and responsible for arranging the music at Leipzig?s four principal churches, Bach was under instruction to ?so arrange the music that it shall not last too long, and shall be of such a nature as not to make an operatic impression, but rather to incite the listener to devotion.?

Selecting this concert as an Editor?s Choice, BBC Music magazine?s Editor Oliver Condy says, ?In a world that often recognises Bach?s St Matthew Passion as the composer?s greatest choral work, his St John has a tricky time getting a look-in. But the St John contains some of Bach?s most colourful and emotional music … this concert will make for a poignant Good Friday.? Ex Cathedra?s performance last Good Friday (2009) of the St Matthew Passion was recorded live at Symphony Hall and the CD has been critically acclaimed including a 5 star review from the BBC Music magazine.

The tradition of Symphony Hall?s annual Good Friday performance of a Bach Passion was begun in 1992 by Sir David Willcocks and The Bach Choir, and has continued each year since.

Ex Cathedra perform Bach?s St John Passion on Good Friday 2 April at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The performance begins at 2pm. Tickets are available from Town Hall & Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or Good Friday St John Passion


Good Friday 2 April, 2010, 2pm Symphony Hall
Ex Cathedra Soloists, Choir & Baroque Orchestra
Jeffrey Skidmore, conductor

Soloists: Jeremy Budd Evangelist, James Rutherford Jesus, Greg Skidmore Pilate, Grace Davidson soprano, Matthew Venner alto, Samuel Boden tenor
Sung in German
Tickets: £5-£37.50* (with concessions)
Link to event page: Good Friday St John Passion

Ex Cathedra is a Town Hall Associate Artist Town Hall Associate Artists

This concert is a BBC Music magazine Editor?s Choice

External weblinks
Ex Cathedra http://www.excathedra.co.uk

ON-LINEBOOKING www.thsh.co.uk
(£2 fee per transaction on all bookings except
those made in person at the box office)

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving Education and Community department reaches a further 10,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

Fiona Fraser
Press & PR Manager
E Fiona.fraser@thsh.co.uk
T 0121 644 5008 (Direct)

Lyle Bignon
Assistant Press & PR Manager
E lyle.bignon@thsh.co.uk
T 0121 644 6028 (Direct)

Issue date: 12 February 2010