The focus of this year’s London Bach Society (LBS) Bachfest is ‘Around and about the St Matthew Passion’. Last year, LBS began a survey of the St Matthew Passion from its beginnings in 1720s Leipzig, through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
As well as performances from LBS’s Bach Club, Steinitz Bach Players Chamber Ensemble and John Scott, there will also be lectures: Dr Katharine Pardee, of Wadham College, Oxford, will explore the reception to the St Matthew Passion in nineteenth-century England and Dr Bettina Varwig, from King’s College London, will look at Bach in the last two centuries.
The fourth LBS Bach Singers Prize Competition will also take place during the festival. The semi-final, on 4 November, will require contestants to perform a recitative and an aria from a Bach Passion. Those who make it through to the final on 8 November will then perform with the Steinitz Bach Players.
The LBS Bachfest, in its twenty-third year, takes place from 31 October to 8 November.