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Bach Festival Leipzig

Bach Festival Leipzig

11 - 20 June 2021

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.

2021 Bach Festival

The motto of the 2021 Leipzig Bachfest is “Redemption”. One highlight will be a grand cycle: Bach’s Messiah - the life and work of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in 33 cantatas, three oratorios and the St. Matthew Passion. The 11 concerts of the cycle will be conducted by the directors Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Václav Luks, Wolfgang Katschner and Justin Doyle. The narrative of the action will be read by the actor Ulrich Noethen.

2020 Bach Festival cancelled, concept postponed until 2022

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Leipzig Bachfest has been cancelled. The concept "BACH - We Are Family" will be postponed until 2022. Bach choirs, societies, festivals and associations from all over the world will travel to Leipzig 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.

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.