Violonists of the Gewandhaus Orchestra at a Great Concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus on Augustusplatz, music city, cultural venue, sightseeing
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Johann Sebastian Bach – Leipzig's music director and St. Thomas choirmaster

Johann Sebastian Bach

Monument to Johann Sebastian Bach in front of St. Thomas Church, where the famous St. Thomas Choir was led by Bach in the 27 years during which he lived in Leipzig, cultural venue, psights
The Bach monument in front of St. Thomas Church. © W. Schneider

Bach worked in Leipzig from 1723 until his death in 1750. During this time, he was responsible for the church services and ecclesiastical festivities at both the St. Nicholas and St. Thomas churches.

In addition, he also served at the "director musices" (musical director) of the city, and organised many secular events. He was head of the Collegium musicum, an association for professional artists and musical students, for many years. He was also invited to organ exams in many cities, where he had a chance to show off his virtuoso skills.

Many of the choirmaster's important compositions were created in Leipzig, including several years worth of sacred cantatas, the St. John and St. Matthew passions, the Christmas Oratorio, the Art of Fugue and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th century, Leipzig has been home to many efforts around the exploration and interpretations of Bach's compositions. Several institutions, associations and competitions have been created around this work.

In the footsteps of Luther and Bach

Discover the places in Leipzig where famous people like Martin Luther and Johann Sebastian Bach spent their time and learn a lot about the Reformation, music and the history of Leipzig, sights, opera, music city, St. Thomas Church, Auerbach's Keller

Bach used many of Luther's hymns as the basis for his polyphonic choral settings and organ arrangements
which, to this day, have maintained their charm.

Discover even more connections between the work of Bach and Luther in this flyer.

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