Bach and Derby

As my concert at Derby Cathedral approaches, I have been thinking more and more about how Bach is important to the area.

It is quite well known that Handel was a regular visitor to Derbyshire, particularly to the River Dove area. In fact, he is thought to have written his Messiah in 24 days whilst staying in Calwich Abbey, and composed his Water Music in the Pavillion (pictured here).

Handel Pavillion

But what is Bach’s relationship to Derby? This is so interesting to investigate. From a quick look, Bach has such a rich relationship with the area. A few interesting things:

  • The Derby Bach Choir was founded in 1959. The choir, then founded by Wallace Ross, the Master of Music at Derby Cathedral, has gone from strength to strength. Their 50th anniversary saw a performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass in the Cathedral, and only last year did they perform the St Matthew Passion led by leading Bach-interpreter Nicolette Moonen! Good to see that Bach is in such wise hands in Derby!
  • Also glad to see Bach performed beyond the Cathedral. Wonderful pianist Clare Hammond (congratulations on your recent RPS award!) performed Bach’s Toccata in D minor BWV 913 in April this year.
  • Stunningly talented violinist Joo Yeon Sir performed Mendelssohn’s wonderful arrangement of Bach’s Chaconne from Partita No 2 in D minor BWV 1004.

I am so glad to see Bach alive and well in Derby! Excited more than ever for my performance of the Goldberg Variations at Derby Cathedral on 1 July 2016, 1pm. Details here. Hope to see you there!

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