Reformation Sunday 31 October with BWV 80

Come and join us on 31 October as we perform Bach’s splendid and much-loved cantata for Reformation Sunday, BWV 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott. This special Bach Vespers service for Reformation Sunday takes place at 6.30pm at the church of St Mary at Hill in the City of London, hosted by St Anne’s Lutheran Church. This cantata features a team of three oboes of different sizes and bassoon, playing with and in contrast to the strings to create fabulous textural colours. There will also be lots of other festive music for the occasion, including the concerto-like Sinfonia to BWV 42. For those who enjoy singing, we are delighted that hymn singing is now permitted again.

The preacher will be the Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Great Britain, the Right Reverend Tor Berger Jørgensen. Everyone is welcome (you don’t have to be religious), and attendance is free. Do come along and bring your friends. We look forward to seeing you to share Bach’s wonderful music!

The following Bach Vespers will be on 28 November (BWV 36 for Advent Sunday).

New Bach Vespers Season starts 26 September

Come and join us at the church of St Mary at Hill in the City of London on 26 September, for the first Bach Vespers of the Autumn. The service starts at 6.30pm, hosted by St Anne’s Lutheran Church.

The service centres around Bach’s Cantata BWV 47, Wer sich selbst erhöhet, der soll erniedriget werden. This moving cantata was first performed in Leipzig in 1726. It includes a poignant and unusual aria for soprano with organ obbligato, which will feature soprano Emily Atkinson and organist Simon Lloyd. Our singers and period instrument players will also perform other German music from the time.

Everyone is welcome (you don’t have to be religious), and attendance is free. We look forward to seeing you to share Bach’s wonderful music!

Future Bach Vespers dates this autumn: 31 October (BWV 80 for Reformation Sunday), and 28 November (BWV 36 for Advent Sunday).

Bach Vespers in the Bach Festival 25 July

We are delighted to be performing in another Bach Vespers service for St Anne’s Lutheran Church, at St Mary at Hill in the City of London, on 25 July. We will perform Bach’s impressive and unusual cantata BWV 178, Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält, along with other German baroque music on period instruments, in a service of Lutheran Vespers. Everyone is welcome and attendance is free.

This event is part of the 25th annual Bach Festival organised by Music-at-Hill. Read more about other concerts in the festival here.

Horn cantatas at the American Church

We are really pleased to be returning to the American International Church in London for a performance of J. S. Bach’s cantata ‘Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan’, BWV 100, and the central chorale from cantata BWV 79. These superb cantatas both feature virtuosic horn parts. They will be performed within a service to celebrate Independence Day, on 4 July at 11am, conducted by their director of music, Scott Stroman.

Bach Vespers is back on 27 June!

Bach Vespers returns to St Anne’s Lutheran Church, resident at St Mary at Hill Church in Eastcheap in the City of London on 27 July at 6.30 pm.

Come and join us for this special occasion, the first Bach Vespers service since the pandemic began. We will perform Bach’s powerful cantata BWV 185, Barmherziges Herze der ewigen Liebe, along with other German baroque music on period instruments, in a service of Lutheran Vespers. Everyone is welcome and attendance is free (with a voluntary collection).

This event will be Covid-safe, following the latest government guidance.

This service continues the 40-year tradition of performing Bach cantatas in Lutheran services in London. It takes more than a pandemic to break this enduring tradition! You can read more about the history here, and about Bach Vespers generally on the St Anne’s Lutheran Church website here.

We look forward to seeing you there, to share Bach’s wonderful music!