Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig

with Professor Christoph Wolff

In anticipation of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performance of the B minor Mass 7, 8 and 9 August, the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with St Johns Southgate, and the Australian Bach Society will be hosting a symposium entitled Bach Studies in Australia that showcases Bach scholarship across Australia. The Symposium is also in honour of Christoph Wolff¹s contributions to Bach studies

This public lecture will form part of the symposium.The lecture will address aspects of general interest regarding this period in Bach's life and works, including a context for the Mass in B Minor.The composer spent 27 years in Leipzig as cantor and music director at St. Thomas’s. This final station of his professional career defined in many ways his artistic legacy with, among other things, an unparalleled repertory of sacred music and a significant body of innovative instrumental works. However, Bach’s multi-faceted activities were not only related to the institutions he served, for he also managed to work quite independently and to set his own agenda. Observing this interesting balancing act helps to better understand Bach’s unique qualities and contributions.

Professor Christoph Wolff is Adams University Professor at Harvard University. Born and educated in Germany, he studied organ and historical keyboard instruments, musicology and art history at the Universities of Berlin, Erlangen, and Freiburg. He taught the history of music at Erlangen, Toronto, Princeton, and Columbia Universities before joining the Harvard faculty in 1976 as Professor of Music; William Powell Mason Professor of Music, 1985-2002; and Adams University Professor, 2002-. At Harvard he served as Chair of the Music Department (1980-88, 90-91), Acting Director of the University Library (1991-92), and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1992-2000).

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