Welcome Letter

Welcome to our 2023–2024 Concert Season

We invite you to join us in the 2023–2024 season for the Washington Bach Consort experience! There will be 25 opportunities across three series to revel in sublime music. In our rotation of Bach’s greatest works, Johannes-Passion will launch the season on October 1, featuring an all-star cast of soloists including the UK-based tenor, Guy Cutting (evangelist), making his Consort debut.

It’s rare to hear all of Bach’s exquisite motets in one performance, but that’s exactly what our audiences will experience in November 2023, followed in December by the universally loved Christmas Oratorio at Strathmore. Two more Director’s Series performances further expand the Consort repertory: the first gives us the best of the French Baroque (from which Bach himself drew inspiration) in sacred Grand Motets of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Marc-Antoine Charpentier, including the latter’s justly famous Te Deum. To conclude the season, we also move a bit forward in time with a period instrument performance of Haydn’s epic classic, Creation.

Our Chamber Series continues to offer a broad array of baroque music, with a brief venture into the Renaissance, continuing the Vocal Polyphony Series in celebration of the 400th anniversary of English composer William Byrd. Our illustrious musicians, concertmaster Andrew Fouts and harpsichordist Leon Schelhase, will present “Fantastic Bach,” tracing the development of the Stylus Fantasticus tradition. Canadian recorder virtuoso Vincent Lauzer, joined by harpsichord Adam Pearl and others, will dazzle us with a program of works by J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, and G. Ph. Telemann. To conclude the series, soprano Paulina Francisco will be joined by an ensemble of female performers in the splendid program, Canoro pianto et affetti, exploring the musical world of 17th-century women through song.

It seems a good moment to remind our friends that half of the Consort season performances can be experienced for free through the Noontime Cantata Series, now entering its 35th season. We continue to bring you Bach’s finest works composed for the organ, paired with his timeless cantatas—the primary focus of his creative energies. This year’s series also includes magnificent works by Telemann and Schütz, all combining to thrill and uplift our growing Consort family.

I look forward to seeing you soon,

Dana T. Marsh
Dr. Dana T. Marsh
Artistic Director