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Bach Vespers, 30 January

The first Bach Vespers of the new year takes place on 30 January at 6.30pm, at the church of St Mary at Hill in the City of London, hosted by St Anne’s Lutheran Church. We perform Bach’s cantata BWV 81, Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen? This is based on the story of Jesus calming the storm (depicted here by Rembrandt), and features a fine musical depiction of a storm, with rushing scales in the strings. The bass singer takes the role of Christ, bringing the waves under control. This cantata also features recorders and oboes d’amore. Our singers and period instrument players will also perform other music of the German baroque.

In particular, we will play an instrumental piece in memory of our friend and longstanding City Bach Collective member, Philip Yeeles (pictured), who passed away in December.

Do come and join us and bring a friend. Everyone is welcome (you don’t need to be religious) and attendance is free with a voluntary collection. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing Bach’s wonderful music!



Future Bach Vespers dates this Spring: 27 February (BWV 22), and 27 March (BWV 54).


Philip Yeeles, 1947-2021

We were devastated to hear of the death of our friend and violinist colleague Philip Yeeles on 24 December. Phil was a longstanding member of the City Bach Collective, and performed regularly at Bach Vespers for over fifteen years. A loyal friend and dedicated musician, Phil’s enthusiasm and optimism was an inspiration to us all. RIP Phil. We will miss you very much.

Boxing Day Bach at the American Church

On 26 December the instrumentalists of the City Bach Collective join the choir of the American International Church to perform Bach’s cantata BWV 40, Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes. This fabulous cantata showcases the horns, with virtuosic writing to create a festive flavour. The performance will be directed by Scott Stroman, director of music at the American Church, as part of the Sunday morning service, starting at 11am. The American International Church is in Tottenham Court Road, London. All are welcome.

The next Bach Vespers service for St Anne’s Lutheran Church at St Mary at Hill will be on 30 January at 6.30pm, with BWV 81, Jesus schläft was soll ich hoffen?


BWV 36 for Advent Sunday, 28 November

city bach collective
Photo: Andre Liu

Bach celebrated the first Sunday in Advent with the joyful cantata BWV 36, Schwingt freudig euch empor.  Come and join us for a performance of this sublime work on 28 November at 6.30pm at the church of St Mary at Hill in the City of London, hosted by St Anne’s Lutheran Church. A real ‘feel-good’ piece, this cantata is perfectly designed to get everyone in good spirits for the run-up to Christmas. It is an unusual work because the arias are interspersed with chorales instead of recitatives. As it is in two parts, we will perform it, as in Bach’s day, with the sermon placed between the two sections. The arias are beautiful, a particularly poignant one being the soprano solo ‘Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen’ appropriately scored with muted violin, to be sung by our soprano extraordinaire, Emily Atkinson. Our team of singers and instrumentalists will also present other music, appropriate to the occasion, by German baroque composers.

Come and enjoy it, and bring your friends along. Everyone is welcome (you don’t have to be religious), and attendance is free. We look forward to seeing you and sharing Bach’s wonderful music!

The following cantata event will be on 26 December (BWV 40 at the American International Church in Tottenham Court Road, 11am, directed by Scott Stroman).

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).