The music of J.S. Bach is considered by many to contain some of the deepest and most profound emotional expression in all the literature of music. The Cantatas represent perhaps the single greatest collection of religious music ever composed and demonstrate a range of style and invention which has never been matched or even approached. Yet, with relatively few exceptions, the cantatas and many other works by Bach remain largely unknown to most of the classical music public as well as serious classical music students. To counter this trend, the Bach Cantata Institute seeks to engage a new generation of students.
The Bach Cantata Institute at SongFest was begun in 2003 by the late Craig Smith and John Harbison and continues to be an important integral part of SongFest.
The Institute will take place during the first week of SongFest, centered around private coachings, master classes, and rehearsals, all culminating in a final public performance of Cantatas BWV 161 and BWV 106 with strings, conducted by John Harbison