The Bach Institute

Application Deadline October 15, 2023

Notification November 1, 2023

Program January 4-15, 2024

Application Information

Application deadline: October 15, 2023
Notification: November 1, 2023

Emmanuel Music announces auditions for its 13th annual Bach Institute Intensive for college-age students and emerging professionals. We seek applicants for the following fellowship positions:

  • soprano
  • mezzo-soprano or countertenor
  • tenor
  • baritone or bass
  • flute
  • oboe
  • violin
  • cello
  • continuo keyboard (with knowledge of or fluency in figured bass)
  • other instruments will be considered as appropriate (viola, gamba, trumpet, recorder, etc)

Applicants should send the following materials electronically to
1. Email of intent, including contact information
2. contact information ONLY for two references
3. Current resume
4. Video audition (via private YouTube link) as outlined below.

  • oboe and flute: two contrasting pieces, at least one by Bach
  • violin: two contrasting movements from the Bach solo Suites or Sonatas
  • cello: two contrasting movements from the Bach solo Suites
  • continuo keyboard: two contrasting Baroque solo works, at least one by Bach
    (further evaluation on figured bass realization may be requested)
  • voice: two contrasting Bach arias

Optional: additional video of applicant in  ensemble performance

Emmanuel Music performs at modern pitch A=440. Auditionees on Baroque string instruments are welcome, but must be able to perform at modern pitch.

The Bach Institute seeks to share the deep knowledge and experience of the Emmanuel Music ensemble in performing the sacred cantatas of J.S. Bach. Drawing on fifty years of practical experience offering these profound works in a worship context, we bring a unique perspective on the communicative power and timeless relevance of this music, as well as insights into technique, interpretation, and pacing.

For nearly two weeks in January, students participate in the Sunday morning Bach cantata performances at Boston’s Emmanuel Church; study Bach cantata arias and recitatives (though in-depth text study and intensive private coaching);  and perform in public masterclasses - all culminating in a student Showcase Concert at the conclusion of the Intensive. The Bach Institute is open to college students, graduate students and young professionals. US and international applications are welcome; travel, visas (when applicable), and local housing are the responsibility of the participant.

Performance Opportunities

  • Two weekend cantatas as part of the Emmanuel Music ensemble (conductors John Harbison, Principal Guest Conductor, and Ryan Turner, Artistic Director)
  • Preludes and postludes for the Sunday morning service at Emmanuel Church
  • Showcase Concert: including a complete Bach Cantata and selected obligato arias

Learning Opportunities

  • Roundtable discussions of cantatas with Ryan Turner, Pamela Dellal, and John Harbison
  • Lectures/conversations with pre-eminent Bach scholars Eric Chafe and Wendy Heller
  • Detailed text analysis of assigned arias and recitative, including sources, biblical references, and historical context
  • Intensive private and ensemble coaching with Institute faculty

Concert Attendance May Include

  • Boston Symphony
  • Sarasa Ensemble
  • Handel and Haydn Society