The Bach Choir celebrates President John Rutter's 70th birthday and the release of the feature film The Martian.
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The Bach Choir celebrates John Rutter's 70th Birthday


Ahead of our celebration concert on 5th November, we're taking a look at John Rutter's  life, achievements, and his relationship with The Bach Choir. 

John Rutter studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, and wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student there. From 1975 to 1979 he returned to Clare College, Cambridge as Director of Music; after giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition, he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time between composition and conducting.

His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children’s operas, music for television, and specialist writing for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the King’s Singers.

John has a long association with The Bach Choir which began in the 1950s when he attended our Christmas concerts and annual performances of St. Matthew Passion as a boy. His work with the late Sir David Willcocks, the Choir’s Musical Director from 1960-1998, is well-known, and this led to the inclusion of many of his carols in our Christmas repertoire. In 2006 he was appointed Vice President of the Choir and he succeeded the late Leopold de Rothschild as President in 2013. The Choir regularly performs and records his works and looks forward to performing The Gift of Life: Six Canticles of Creation on 5th November in St. Paul's Cathedral with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Bach Choir is very proud to feature on the soundtrack for The Martian, starring Matt Damon
Ridley Scott's new sci-fi epic, released in the UK on 30th September, tells the gripping tale of an astronaut stranded on Mars as he figures out how to survive and NASA's efforts to rescue him. The Bach Choir worked with composer Harry Gregson-Williams (whose film credits include Shrek, Enemy of the State, and The Town) to record the thrilling score at Abbey Road Studios in August. Be sure to listen out for us when you go to see the film! You can also listen to the soundtrack on Spotify here.
Each week in our 140th season, a different familiar face will congratulate us on 140 years of music making. Find out who is in this week's video on our YouTube page.
Click here

In a new feature, we ask members of The Bach Choir what Monday night rehearsals have come to mean to them since joining the Choir. Our first contributor is Soprano 1 Laura-Jane Foley (above, right):
"As I walk down Ambrosden Avenue every Monday at 6pm, above all I'm looking forward to the singing; to learning new pieces and dusting down old favourites. As a writer I'm fascinated by this large, continually evolving, disparate group of people in Westminster Cathedral Hall, who have been gathering together for 140 years because of their shared love of singing in a large chorus. The Bach Choir has over 220 characters, each dealing with life's triumphs and setbacks. In the warm-up, as we stand stretching or rolling our r's, we might spy pregnant tummies, glimpse quiet anguished tears or sense the private passion of a hurried texter. The Choir offers a snapshot of life. I've met friends and confidantes, even a set designer for my last play. I love singing but it's the people that make The Bach Choir such a joy."
Venice: Darkness to Light
Wednesday 14 October 2015, 7.30pm | Southwark Cathedral
Join City of London Sinfonia and experience the breathtaking sounds of Venice. The performance begins with Bach’s take on two of Venice’s finest 18th century composers: Pergolesi’s dark and mournful Stabat Mater sung by Elin Manahan Thomas; and Vivaldi’s energetic Keyboard Concerto. John Adams’ reflections on Liszt’s The Black Gondola and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella complete this atmospheric programme.

Book now

The Sixteen: The Choral Pilgrimage 2015
21 October 2015, 8pm, Ealing Abbey

World-renowned ensemble The Sixteen brings its 15th annual Choral Pilgrimage to Ealing Abbey. Focussing on the music of 16th century Spain, the programme showcases works by Renaissance masters Francisco Guerrero and Alonso Lobo. ‘Sheer beauty’ The Telegraph

Book now 
English Touring Opera’s Autumn 2015 season features three classics of French opera. 
The season opens in London at the Royal College of Music’s Britten Theatre from Thursday 1 to Saturday 10 October 2015, with three new productions: Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Massenet’s Werther, and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. The three works explore the theme of doomed love through different lenses. Pelléas & Mélisande has been subtly re-arranged by Annalies Van Parys, Werther re-writen for a chamber orchestra which will be on stage at the centre of the action, and The Tales of Hoffmann is set to be a visually-stunning production, with Ilona Domnich taking on the four women in Hoffmann's life.

Book your tickets online here /  020 3761 7069
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