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Upcoming Outreach Events

Pre-Concert Talk: Bach's Keyboard Concertos

Grab a cup of coffee and join host Stephen Ackert on Zoom on October 26 at 7:30 pm, as we hear and talk about excerpts from some of Bach’s keyboard concertos. The keyboard concertos, BWV 1052–1065, are concertos for harpsichord (or organ), strings and continuo by Johann Sebastian Bach. They are among the first concertos for keyboard instruments ever written.

Bach first began composing for a single instrument and a small orchestra between 1717 and 1723, when he was the court composer for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Koethen. Having a court orchestra at his disposal, he regularly provided concertos for the orchestra’s section leaders or visiting virtuosos to play. Later in his career he reworked some of his earlier concertos in order to have the harpsichord as the solo instrument.  The impetus for this was Bach’s induction into a small band in Leipzig, called the Collegium Musicum, whose members met regularly at Zimmermann’s Coffee House to enjoy each other’s company and make music together. As Europe’s primary keyboard musician throughout his lifetime, it is presumed that Bach himself was the keyboard soloist for most of those performances at Zimmermann’s.

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