Mission and vision
“I feel these people are so talented and educated in their art, they make Bach so accessible to the world.” These words, from a fan of one of our YouTube videos, are the biggest compliment we could imagine. Making Bach accessible to as many people as possible is what we put our heart and soul into, also in the second century of the Netherlands Bach Society, which started in 2021.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is probably the most ‘inclusive’ composer we know. Everyone can go to him: from amateur to virtuoso, and from choir singer to jazz musician, whether highly educated or not, and whether religious or not – Bach is there for everyone. In his music, people find inspiration, emotion, comfort and reflection. In a hectic world, Bach’s music is a refuge and a constant factor for each generation. That is why ‘Bach for All’ is our mission.
The Netherlands Bach Society sees itself as the custodian of musical cultural heritage and as being responsible for keeping the early music genre alive and relevant. It fulfils this task on the basis of the vision that for many people music is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life. Through our performances, we create value that cannot be expressed in economic terms (or only to a limited extent): music enriches life in an immaterial sense. Our interaction with music must be meaningful, have impact and continue to tie in with the environment of our current and future audiences.Art
Founded in 1921 to perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Grote Kerk Naarden, the Netherlands Bach Society has grown over the past century into a leading vocal-instrumental ensemble of international significance. We research and present the work of J.S.Bach and his contemporaries and kindred spirits, and hand it down from generation to generation. The Bach Society plays music in accordance with the principles of ‘historically informed performance practice’, meaning that we perform on instruments that do justice to the period in which they were played (i.e. old instruments or copies of them) and that we delve into the context in which our repertoire was created. We do so within a broad context and taking account of the times we live in today.
We shed new light on age-old scores through an open, curious and investigative attitude, and do not shy away from experiment. Artistic leader Shunske Sato believes there is not just one way of doing justice to all the aspects of Bach’s music. On the contrary, there are countless possibilities. The Bach Society’s goal is to explore these possibilities and present them to audiences: a quest without end, which we want to share with as many people as possible.