Straight From Carnegie Hall Bach Collegium Japan Performs Bach Choir Gala Concert

Sep 30th, 2015Press Release from The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem will present THE BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN and soprano Joanne Lunn directed by Masaaki Suzuki for The Bach Choir’s Gala Concert and Fundraiser on Saturday November 7, 2015, 4pm at Central Moravian Church Bethlehem. The post-concert Benefactor cocktail reception, gourmet food stations and auction will take place in the Hotel Bethlehem Grand Ballroom beginning at 6:00pm. Proceeds benefit The Bach Choir’s educational outreach programs including Bach to School, Bach at Noon, the Family Concert, and the educational programs of the Bach Festival. Tickets are available for purchase at, 610-866-4382 Ext. 10 or 15, or 888-743-3100.                    

The Bach Collegium Japan’s performance for The Bach Choir Gala is one of only three performances by the Collegium in the northeastern United States during its 12 concert U.S. tour—Carnegie Hall, November 6, Bach Choir of Bethlehem November 7, and the Celebrity Series of Boston, November 8.

Masaaki Suzuki has said, “The music of J.S. Bach is composed in a language shared by the whole of mankind.” In the hands of this inspirational music director, Bach performed on period instruments by the world renowned Bach Collegium Japan is truly music from the heart. Greg Funfgeld, artistic director and conductor of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, first invited the Bach Collegium Japan to the Lehigh Valley for an acclaimed performance in 2006. He notes, “Musicians have said that the joy in the ensemble is so great that even watching the players tune is enthralling.” Critics the world over have praised the Bach Collegium Japan’s performances as:

“a buoyant and beautiful performance” The New York Times

“unmatched excellence” Gramophone

“a performance of gentle glowing beauty” The New Yorker

“scrupulously stylish and engagingly light-footed” The Financial Times

“breathtaking…perfection” The Guardian

In the November 7 Gala program of Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, nine instrumentalists from the Collegium are joined by the warm and light-filled voice of English soprano Joanne Lunn who closes the program with Bach’s ecstatic Cantata BWV 51- Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. The complete program is:

Johann Sebastian Bach           Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047

Antonio Vivaldi                      Concerto in C major for Recorder, Strings and Continuo, RV 443

George Frideric Handel          Gloria in B-flat Major, HWV deest

Johann Sebastian Bach           Flute Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034

Antonio Vivaldi                      Oboe Concerto in C Major RV450

Johann Sebastian Bach           Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51

Hailed in BBC Music Magazine as “Kings from the East,” Bach Collegium Japan comprises a baroque orchestra and choir that is widely recognized as one of world’s leading interpreters of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. Founded by Masaaki Suzuki in 1990, the ensemble made its North American debut in April 2003.  Recent international tours include concerts in Europe’s major music centers – Madrid, Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), London (Barbican), Rome, Paris, Berlin and Brussels – Hong Kong, Seoul, New Zealand, and at leading festivals in Edinburgh, Santiago de Compostela, Tel Aviv, Leipzig, and Melbourne as well as at the BBC Proms. In 2010 the ensemble celebrated their 20th anniversary with a series of special concerts in Tokyo, and in 2013 they were invited to appear at New York’s Lincoln Center where Masaaki Suzuki and the choir collaborated with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to open its Bach Variations Festival. This season’s highlights include the ensemble’s debut in Mexico and in the Czech Republic at the Prague Spring Festival. Through their acclaimed BIS recordings, Bach Collegium Japan has shared their intriguing performances of the baroque repertoire. Their recent recording of Bach Motets was honored with a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2010 and also in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award. 2014 saw the triumphant conclusion of their recorded cycle of Bach’s complete Church Cantatas, a huge undertaking comprising over fifty CDs initiated in 1995. This major achievement was recognized with a 2014 ECHO Klassick ‘Editorial Achievement of the Year’ award.

Joanne Lunn is one of Britain’s leading Baroque sopranos in great demand throughout Europe. Her continued relationship with Bach Collegium Japan (Masaaki Suzuki) takes her to Japan and further afield regularly for both concert tours and recordings. Joanne also appears and records regularly with the Dunedin Consort (John Butt) as well as with Concerto Copenhagen, Tafelmusik (Toronto), Cappella Amsterdam, Ensemble Pygmalion and Knabenchor, Hannover.  Ms. Lunn won the prestigious Tagore gold medal after graduating from the Royal College of Music in London and has performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Recent engagements include Fairy Queen at the Konzerthaus, Vienna, concerts at the Rhine Valley Music Festival, a series of concerts at the Oregon Bach Festival and Monteverdi Vespers with the Dunedin Consort. Engagements in 2015/2016 include a tour of L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato with Rudolf Lutz, Bach Cantatas with Ensemble Pygmalion (Raphaël Pichon), a US tour with Bach Collegium Japan, Messiah with Tafelmusik (Toronto), and Israel in Egypt and Saint John Passion with Concerto Copenhagen.

In its eighth annual Gala Concert, The Bach Choir continues its recent legacy of presenting Gala events with world class guest artists in different musical genres, all of whom have connections with the music of Bach. Past presentations have included Yo-Yo Ma, Dave Brubeck, Emma Kirkby, Tiempo Libre, Hilary Hahn, The Swingle Singers, Eliot Fisk and Family, and the American Boychoir.

TICKETS: General Admission: $40, Students $9

Benefactors: $250 ($100 is tax deductible)

Benefactors enjoy reserved premium concert seating and a cocktail reception, gourmet food stations and auction beginning at 6:00pm at Historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Purchase tickets now at , 610-866-4382 Ext. 10 or 15, or 888-743-3100.

Become a Benefactor and support The Bach Choir by calling 610.866.4382 ext. 10 or 15

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