Are you awestruck by J.S. Bach’s timeless music and left wondering how a mere mortal could have composed such imaginative, powerful, complex, and stylistically diverse creations? Bach scholar Christoph Wolff is poised to answer your questions. After all, the Pulitzer Prize finalist, Harvard Professor Emeritus, and venerated musicologist has spent a lifetime exploring Bach’s music; he wrote the books on it!
This free, public Workshop is a virtual extension of the community workshops PBO has co-hosted with the Junior Bach Festival since 2013.
CHRISTOPH WOLFF, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
Christoph Wolff is a leading expert on JS Bach’s music and life. An emeritus professor of Harvard University (1976-2014) and former Director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig (2001 to 2014). He taught music history at Erlangen, Toronto, Princeton, and Columbia Universities before joining the graduate faculty of the Juilliard School (2010–2018). Wolff is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Saxon Academy of Sciences, the Académie für Mozart-Forschung (Chair, 1996–2006) and a member of the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and the Arts. Some of his awards include the IRC Harrison Medal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland in (2004), the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize (2006), and the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society in 2000.Wolff’s books include Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (Cambridge, 1991), The New Bach Reader (New York, 1998), Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician, (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001), and Bach’s Musical Universe: The Composer and His Work (W.W. Norton, 2020). He wrote the liner notes for Academy of Ancient Music’s recording of Bach’s Orchestral Suites in 2013. Wolff was interviewed about Bach’s The Art of Fugue in the documentary film Desert Fugue.
The Junior Bach Festival Association is a 67-year-old Bay Area cultural institution that is dedicated to touching young lives by promoting the study and performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music. Annually around the time of Bach’s birthday, March 21, the Festival hosts concerts featuring some of the finest young musical talent, selected by audition. In collaboration with education partners such as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and New York Baroque Dance Company, and Ifshin Violins, the Festival also hosts public Workshops on topics related to Bach’s music. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Junior Bach Festival’s endeavors have gone entirely virtual, and we have expanded our offerings to include the international music community. Festival concerts may be accessed free of charge and donations are gratefully accepted on the Festival’s Website: www.juniorbach.org.