Founded in 1921 to perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Grote Kerk, in Naarden, the Netherlands Bach Society has grown over the past century into a leading vocal-instrumental ensemble of national and international importance. We play, sing and pass on the work of Bach and his contemporaries and kindred spirits. Our musicians play authentic instruments and are driven by curiosity and the joy of music-making.
Since its foundation, the Netherlands Bach Society has been led by Johan Schoonderbeek, Evert Cornelis, Anthon van der Horst, Charles de Wolff and Jos van Veldhoven, respectively. In 2018, violinist Shunske Sato was appointed artistic director. The ideas held by new generations lead to continually changing visions. This allows us to keep discovering deep layers and exciting gradations in Bach’s fantastic music, while keeping our eye on the environment and circumstances in which his music was created.
All of Bach for everyone: that is our mission. Every year, we give more than sixty concerts in the Netherlands and abroad. In addition, all music-lovers can enjoy all the works we record for All of Bach free of charge. To breathe new life into tradition, we are constantly looking for interesting partners and involving the new generations in our work. Through the Young Bach Fellowship, we train the musicians of the future, we coach amateurs in the Utrecht region, and through our education programme we bring secondary school pupils into contact with the fascinating world behind the notes of Bach.
It is awe-inspiring how Bach has remained so relevant across the ages. We can always go to him for inspiration, emotion, comfort and reflection. In a hectic world, Bach’s music is a constant factor for all generations. There was, is, and always will be time for Bach.