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The 2016-2017 Season from J. Reilly Lewis

Dear Friends,

It is a tremendous pleasure to invite you to join us for our 39th season of savoring the music and the legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach. With every new encounter, I am reminded yet again of the extraordinary craft, beauty and joy of this music and of the great personal fulfillment it always provides to both listeners and performers.

Our season begins with a showcase of some of Bach’s most beloved instrumental and choral music and concludes with the magnum opus of another great composer of that golden era, Messiah by George Frideric Handel. At Christmas, we will join with the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble to present a broad selection of seasonal music by German baroque composers in a program that offers an unparalleled showcase for our magnificent chorus. In our penultimate concert at National Presbyterian Church this season, we return to one of the cornerstones of western music, Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion.

We are also pleased to be continuing our immensely popular series of chamber music at Live! at 10th & G in downtown Washington, DC. The initial two programs focus on very different aspects of Bach’s musical output, his instrumental sonatas and his secular cantatas respectively. The final chamber concert guides our attention south, toward rarely performed music of the French baroque. All three programs offer a uniquely intimate environment in which to appreciate this finely honed music and the talented Consort musicians who bring it to life.

The free Tuesday Noontime Cantata Series enters its 28th consecutive season and continues to offer an oasis of sublime music amidst the stress of the workday. Each concert features the performance of a cantata preceded by one of Bach’s many organ works played by some of the most renowned organists in this area. The Church of the Epiphany is a particularly fine setting for this wonderful midday treat, with its superb acoustics and magnificent Æolian-Skinner pipe organ. Our award-winning “Bach to School” education program continues to bring this glorious music to children all over the city, young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience its transcendent beauty.

It is a joy to be able to share this incomparable music with you! I thank you for your enthusiasm, your presence and your support in ensuring that the Washington Bach Consort continues in its mission to perform this greatest of all music well into the future.

J. Reilly Lewis, Founder and Artistic Director


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Our Mission

Founded in 1977 by J. Reilly Lewis, the Washington Bach Consort is a professional chorus and orchestra noted for its performances of 18th-Century music on period instruments. Its mission is to perform to the highest artistic standards the music of J.S. Bach and his Baroque contemporaries.