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Bach Festival Leipzig

Bach Festival Leipzig

11 to 21 June 2020 - »BACH – We Are Family« – 150 events on 11 days

Every year in June the city of Leipzig honours its important Thomas Cantor Johann Sebastian Bach with the Bach Festival. It pursues a tradition which Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy had already established. Leipzig celebrates a very special Bach Festival in the 2020 season: From 11 to 21 June 2020, under the motto "BACH - We Are Family", some 50 Bach choirs, societies, festivals and associations from six continents will travel to the city on the river Pleiße to celebrate the composer where he worked most. There they will walk the same paths of the widely ramified Bach family of musicians, who met once a year in the 17th and 18th centuries at a certain location in Thuringia to make music together. Well-known performers from all over the world can be seen at over 150 events during eleven days, including the St. Thomas Choir and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. During the Bach Festival, they will perform in 18 concerts and 15 church services and masses all 66 cantatas of the "Choralkantaten Jahrgang 1724/1725" at Bach's original places of work. Pre-sales will start on 15 November 2019.

Bach Festival Leipzig

Interior view of the St. Nicholas Church during a Leipzig Bach Festival concert in the Music City, cultural venue, sights
St. Nicholas Church is only one of the Bach Festival's venues. © Gert Mothes

The first Bach Festival took place in Leipzig in 1908. It was organized for the unveiling of the "New Bach Monument".

Selected pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, who lived and worked in Leipzig from 1723 to his death in 1750 as the St. Thomas choirmaster, are performed.

Around 100 different events take place every year as part of the Leipzig Bach Festival.

Bach Competition

Award winners at the Bach competition with flowers, Leipzig, city of music, concert, events, festivals, culture
The Bach competition honours outstanding musicians. © Gert Mothes

The world's most important Johann Sebastian Bach competition for young interpreters was launched in 1950. Since 1996, it has been taking place every other year in June in three alternating subjects: piano, harpsichord and violin. 

The competition is open to instrumentalists and singers between the ages of 16 and 33.