7th Bach Festival


10 days – a new look at intriguing and surprising aspects of the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach – in a series of concerts and special events performed by the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra and guest performers from Israel and the world.

Scroll down for the full program!

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The festival shows

Mass in B- minor | Main Concert
Peter Whelan (Ireland), Conductor | Keren Motseri (the Netherlands), Tom Ben Ishai, Naomi Burla Levi, Ekaterina Leider, Soprano | Nitzan Alon, Noa Hope, Alto | Richard Resch (Germany), Itamar Hildesheim, Tenor | Nerijus Masevicius (Lithuania), Lidor Ram Mesika, Bass

Friday 17.3.23 at 13:00 | Tel Aviv – Zucker hall (Heichal HaTarbut)

Saturday 18.3.23 at 20:00 | Haifa – Rapaport Hall

Sunday 19.3.23 at 20:00 | Jerusalem – The International YMCA Auditorium

One of the pinnacles of western music history, the mass is comprised of 4 sections, evolved through the long-lasting career of the great composer as a personal project, collecting them together in his final years. The piece is inspired by the great masters of polyphony, yet the composer is still choosing earlier composed music of his pen, set originally to other texts and purposes but deeming them right to serve that noble cause. The mass is combining intimate arias in a variety of ensemble settings with grand double choruses and full orchestral powers, in a way that creates a moving active listening, a sound setting to a greater spiritual experience.
“Fame and Mystery”: Bach exhibition at the YMCA
For the sixth time, the Bach House, the Bach Museum at Bach’s birthplace in Eisenach, is visiting Israel to provide the Bach in Jerusalem Festival in March with a small exhibition. It is once again located in the lobby of the YMCA Three Arches Hotel on King David Street and can be visited during hotel hours from 19-26 March. As in the past, the exhibition is featuring the highlights of the festival which are this year the performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor and of his six partitas for harpsichord, his “opus 1” as Bach himself called them.
Jerusalem - 3 Arches Hotel
Bach & the Masters - Organ Recital
Arin Maisky, Organ
  • Johann Sebastian Bach - Fantasia in c minor, BWV 562
  • Dietrich Buxtehude - Choral Prelude: "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott", BuxWV 199
  • Dietrich Buxtehude - Choral Prelude: "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern", BuxWV 223
  • Johann Sebastian Bach - Choral Prelude: ‘O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß‘, BWV 622
  • Heinrich Scheidemann – "Jesu, wollst uns weisen"
  • Heinrich Scheidemann – Praeambulum in d minor, WV 33
  • Johann Sebastian Bach - Canzona in Dm, BWV 588
  • Georg Böhm - Variations on: "Freu dich sehr o meine Seele"
  • Johann Sebastian Bach - Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 547
A virtuosic program that follows the first professional steps of Johann Sebastian Bach as an organ composer, through the path laid for him by the great organists of Germany, who shaped the musical world of the to-be-great composer
Jerusalem – Church of the Redeemer
"Rural Bach & Urban Bach" - The Peasants Cantata
Nour Darwish, Soprano | Lidor Ram Mesika, Bass | Soloists of the the Jeruslam Baroque Orchestra

Wednesday 22.3.23 at 20:00 | Jerusalem – The International YMCA Auditorium (Conference Hall)

Friday 24.3.23 at 13:00 | Nazereth – Christ Anglican Church

  • Johann Sebastian Bach – "Peasants Cantata" – cantata "Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet", BWV 212
  • Georg Philipp Telemann – cantata "Des wütenden Meeres betäubendes Brausen", TWV 1:327a
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Trio Sonata in D minor, BWV 527
  • Johann Sebastian Bach - Sonata for Flute & BC, BWV 1033
The acclaimed Peasants Cantata will be presented alongside vocal and instrumental music – music for the theatrical and religious circumstances, popular dances and exquisite arias, music for village or city life – all is combined at a special concert in a warm atmosphere which also makes it fit for a meeting of the community.
"I'll Be Bach!" – a musical autobiographical show for all ages
Fyodor Makarov (DAVAI theater), Johann Sebastian Bach | Naomi Burla Levi, Anna Magdalena Bach | Soloists of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra
A serious concert of classical music turns to a circus because of one clumsy stage worker that gets in the way every time he tries to help: he mixes the notes up, confuses the ushers and gets tengled with the wires. When cleans the dust out of Bach's portrait – it comes to life! Herr Johann Sebastian Bach is revealed while composing his newest masterwork to light of the candles… Bach introduces us to his musical children, preparing them with scores while making some coffee for his beloved wife, Anna Magdalena, who will soon sing us an aria. Most amusingly, the show will make the world of Bach familiar to the young audience, enabling it to reexperience classical music.
The International YMCA Auditorium (Conference Hall), Jerusalem
"From Prussia With Love" – Music for the Berlin aristocracy and the Parisian bourgeois
Pavel Andriev, Flute | Yulia Lurie, Violin | Anton Andriev, Cello | Alexandra Maglovania, Viola da Gamba | Marina Minkin, Harpsichord
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Trio sonata from the "Musical Offering", BWV 1079
  • Georg Philipp Telemann – "Parisian Quartets" no. 4 & no. 12, TWV 43:e4 & 43:h2
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach – Trio Sonata in D minor, Wq. 145
  • Ludovico Madonis – Fuga from Sonata no. 5 (1738)
Newcoming musicians will perform aristocratic chamber music, written for the high class of enlightened Europe of the 18th century. Highlight of the concert is definitely the trio sonata from Bach's "Musical Offering" – technically complex but so pleasant to the ear. This alongside two of Telemann's "Paris Quartets" and more pleasantries for our distinguished guests.
Jerusalem - Harmonia Hall
"The Partitas" – Seminar
Full day of events revolving Bach's famous partitas for Harpsichord. Young and promising pianists from the Jerusalem Music Center Mishkenot Sha'ananim will participate in a fascinating and ear-opening seminar, which will delve on the historically informed practices that led to the publication of work, uncommon to the composer. Though Bach must have had a very special reason to publish these great suites instead of others, he did compose them on the harpsichord. At 11:00, the young performers will meet and discuss over the instrument and its implications to their own playing, together with the general style and the context of the period in which the works were written in. They will also intertwine the lectures with musical interludes (from the partitas, of course). At 16:00, a Piano recital played by students of the Jerusalem Music Center will consist of movements from the Magnum Opus.
The Jerusalem Music Center Mishkenot Sha'ananim
"The Partitas" – recital
David Shemer, Harpsichord
  • Johann Sebastian Bach- Partita no. 5 in G major, BWV 829
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Partita no. 2 in C minor, BWV 826
  • Johann Sebastian Bach – Partita no, 4 in D major, BWV 828
The Jerusalem Music Center Mishkenot Sha'ananim