Listening Club


See the Listening Club page for details of our six-week autumn series Words and Music:  How Great Composers Bring Texts Alive

Bach coaching session at Greycoats School


Talking to the sixth form music students at Greycoats School about Bach’s Cantata no 80, Ein feste Burg

Bach B Minor Mass Study Day – St Andrews


I’m leading a study day on Bach’s great Mass in B Minor at the University of St Andrews. It offers a chance to learn more about this magnificent work, as well as the opportunity to sing and play sections. I’ve posted some useful links and suggestions for further reading here.

conducting/directing Bach cantatas in Oxford


I’m guest conducting Bach cantatas in Oxford this summer, as part of an excellent series set up by Tom Hammond-Davies at St Michael at the Northgate, Cornmarket Street, Oxford, OX1 3EY. The cantatas are sung and played one to a part in the context of Choral Evensong; services start at 4pm and admission is free.

3rd August – BWV 187 Es wartet alles auf dich
10th August – BWV 136 Erforsche mich, Gott
21st September – BWV 17 Wer Dank opfert

JS Bach: Mass in B minor


Between 1997 and 2010 I directed a memorable cycle of JS Bach’s surviving cantatas and major sacred works in West London, much of it taking place at St Michael & All Angels. So I’m delighted to return for this performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor, as part of the Bedford Park Festival.

Talk on JS Bach’s sacred cantatas for the Ross on Wye Classical Music Society


A raging serpent, a hellish dragon and God’s army of angels… but that’s enough about the audience! I’ve been invited to the Ross on Wye Classical Music Society to give a talk about my experience of conducting a complete cycle of JS Bach’s surviving sacred cantatas. And I’ll be offering a few illustrated reflections about this marvellous body of work.

reading list for JS Bach’s St John Passion

This week I’m giving two Classic Discovery talks on JS Bach’s great St John Passion, and performing it on Sunday 16th. Here are a few of the books which I have found useful; I’d recommend them highly to anyone who wants to find out more:

Johann Sebastian Bach – the Learned Musician
Christoph Wolff

Lutheranism, Anti-Judaism and Bach’s St John Passion
Michael Marissen

Hearing Bach’s Passions
Daniel Melamed

Oxford Composer Companions: JS Bach (ed. Boyd)

Classic Discovery Study Day: JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion


At St Anne’s Church on Kew Green Sandy leads a study day devoted to one of the greatest sacred works of all: the St Matthew Passion by JS Bach. Learn about the Passions’s spiritual setting from Rev Nigel Worn, discover more about Bach’s musical approach, sing chorales, and listen to an open rehearsal of some of the score’s greatest moments. Admission is £20, via Marie Crockford on 020 8332 7156 or at

Classic Discovery evening in Chiswick – St John Passion


In advance of our performance of JS Bach’s St John Passion BWV 245 on Sunday 16th October at  St Michael and All Angels, Bath Road, London W4 1TT, I’m hosting a Classic Discovery evening which takes a close look at this rich and complex work. On the agenda will be the background of the St John Passion, its liturgical setting, its troubling associations with Luther and anti-Judaism, the spiritual quality of the music, and its exceptional dramatic power. The venue is the Michael Room in the church’s Parish Hall;  tickets are £10.

The Leipzig Bach Festival 2011


Martin Randall Travel has invited me to lead a second tour to the Leipzig Bach Festival, as resident lecturer. Expect stimulating talks and discussions, congenial company, one or two fine dinners, and many outstanding performances by some of today’s finest performers of Baroque music, including Andreas Scholl, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and René Jacobs. Tour details here