Munich Bach Orchestra

"Heavyweight from Munich brings lightness into the play … With vitality, joy of playing, soloistic perfection and well-attuned to each other, there resounded a Bach … in a very unique interpretation …, which arrives in the present without an urge to modernize. Music full of temperament flows through the church."
(Quedlinburger Musiksommer 2011)

After founding the Munich Bach Choir in 1954, Karl Richter also established the Munich Bach Orchestra and soon formed it into a leading international ensemble. The orchestra achieved its prominent reputation above all with its Bach interpretations during major concert tours from Paris and Moscow to Tokyo and New York.

This was complemented by numerous recordings (Deutsche Grammophon) as well as television and radio productions - some with the outstanding singers and instrumentalists of the 1960s and 1970s (including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Fritz Wunderlich, Edith Mathis and Maurice André). During this time, the great works from Bach to Beethoven were recorded. Before the advent of historically informed performance practice, the Bach Orchestra was nearly unrivaled in its field.

Its guest conductors included major figures such as Leonard Bernstein and Bruno Weil as well as baroque specialist Peter Schreier. After Karl Richter and Hanns-Martin Schneidt, the young conductor, organist and harpsichordist Hansjörg Albrecht assumed leadership of the renowned Munich Bach Orchestra, which now continues its artistic activities with historically informed performance practice and creative revival of the great Munich Bach tradition.

In 2011, the Munich Bach Orchestra recorded Mahler's "Song of the Earth" ("Das Lied von der Erde") in a new version for chamber orchestra and four soloists. Recent concerts took the ensemble to the festivals "Europäische Wochen Passau", "Musikfestspiele Saar" and "Quedlinburger Musiksommer", to the Baden-Baden Festival Hall and several times to Italy. The orchestra has worked with such singers as Sibylla Rubens, Marlis Petersen, Simone Kermes and Klaus Florian Vogt as well as with instrumental soloists such as Vilde Frang, Alina Pogostkina, Mirijam Contzen and Adrian Brendel.

In 2014, the Bach Orchestra and Hansjörg Albrecht followed  an invitation for a concert tour through Japan. Their performances of Bach´s Brandenburg Concertos continued a long-standing tradition of concert tours, which has seen Munich´s two Bach ensembles spread their music around the globe since the 1960s.

Last update: February 2015