A new orchestra playing ancient music
Thüringer Bach Collegium
Thuringia is often described as the land of Bach, as the Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (*1685 in Eisenach — †1750 in Leipzig) spent the first 30 years of his life in Eisenach, Arnstadt, Weimar and other towns and cities of Thuringia. He came from a musical dynasty that had already shaped the Thuringia music scene for 150 years at the time of his birth.
Throughout the world, he is the most famous member of the Bach family of musicians. Thuringia practically »breathes« Bach and it has a long tradition of preserving Bach’s musical heritage. Although his works initially fell into oblivion after his death, classical music since the 19th century has meanwhile become inconceivable without them. Innumerable concerts and festivals honouring Bach and his music bear witness to this. In many areas of music, Bach paved the way and contributed to the enhancement of musical forms and language. Some of his works continue to transcend the established canon of forms. Hence, the »Bach« in the new ensemble’s name not only symbolises the programme itself but also its claim of offering a new, fresh and captivating sound.
Thüringer Bach Collegium – ancient music heads for new shores
A new star has risen in the sky of ancient music in Weimar.
The Thüringer Bach Collegium is playing works by Johann Sebastian Bach, his ancestors (from the Altbachische Archiv), his sons and his contemporaries in a historically informed performance on antique instruments.
The founders are two »old hands« in the orchestra business of Thuringia’s cultural scene. The ensemble is being conducted by the Gernot Süßmuth, Johann Sebastian Bach’s successor as concertmaster of the Staatskapelle Weimar. Christian Bergmann, general manager and double bass player, has been performing in the Staatskapelle Weimar for 17 years. Both musicians have been associated with the music of J. S. Bach since earliest childhood and youth. Christian Bergmann, for instance, was born in Arnstadt and baptised in the Bach Church.
Real experts and connoisseurs with experience and musical enthusiasm
The founders and other members of the Thüringer Bach Collegium have many years of experience as soloists and first-chair players in large symphony and opera orchestras. And, if required, the ensemble is complemented by freelance musicians, experts in the field of ancient music and, in particular, with special instruments not played in a conventional orchestra, such as the viola da gamba, recorder, natural horn and Baroque trumpet.
They all allow their expertise from working with major conductors and soloists to flow into their music. Their wealth of experience from music culture to contemporary music, combined with the latest scientific insights into historical performances, complements and enlivens the current concert programme in the field of ancient and Baroque music. Regular performances with internationally renowned conductors and soloists enhances the orchestra’s musical spectrum.
Instruments – witnesses of their era
The Thüringer Bach Collegium plays on valuable historical string instruments, including violins from Giovanni Grancino or replicas of historical wind instruments. The string instruments are all around 300 years old. This means they were already being played and listened to during the lifetime of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Thuringia Cultural Ambassador
»The Thüringer Bach Collegium stands for immense musical enthusiasm and energy. Our concerts are intended to touch the listeners and to enable them to dive into a world beyond the everyday hustle and bustle«, says Christian Bergmann describing the motivation behind the newly founded ensemble. »We unite highly qualified musicians from the whole of Thuringia. As an ambassador from Bachland Thüringen, we wish to go out into the world to present Thuringia’s music culture and, above all, our rich treasure of Baroque music. Across all languages and generations, with music something ›resonates‹ – in the true meaning of the word – inside the listener. Baroque music has brought forth many pieces of music, which meanwhile are intuitively known to a broad public, for instance from commercials and films. In order to reach as many people as possible, we appear at festivals and in (Bach) churches. Here the threshold is lower than, say, in a theatre or opera house, where Baroque music is less frequently found in the repertoires.«