Listen: Celebrate Before Bach's Birthday Bash in St. Paul

Johann Sebastian Bach, at 61, is shown in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann.Public domain

Before Bach's Birthday Bash 2022


March 22, 2022

Bach's birthday comes around every year on March 21. The occasion calls out for a celebration of this most remarkable of musical talents, and Minnesota Public Radio's Michael Barone (host of Pipedreams) decided that Johann Sebastian Bach deserved something special. A number of years ago, he and colleagues from the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists arranged a Bach's Birthday Bash, and the idea blossomed.

When Bach's birthday doesn't fall on a Saturday, the celebration is held early and becomes Before Bach's Birthday Bash. BBBB events have become something of a local tradition, with enthusiasts from all parts of the state participating or just listening.

This year's activities featured five free hourlong public concerts of Bach's music, presented at five venues and churches on or near Summit Avenue during the morning and afternoon of Saturday, March 19.

This year’s BBBB was presented in conjunction with the Fargo-Moorhead Bach Choir. Members of the Red River Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists performed Bach’s Cantata No. 6, the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto, and various organ works in the context of a Lutheran Vespers featuring the the 45-rank Holtkamp organ at Trinity Lutheran.

Co-sponsors included the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Bach Society of Minnesota, National Lutheran Choir, St. Paul Conservatory of Music, University of Minnesota School of Music and YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio.

The first hour of the program was aired live by YourClassical MPR and host Michael Barone. Listen to the concert now!

Complete program details and notes: Before Bach's Birthday Bash 2022 - Program