2011: 18th Ambronay European Baroque Academy

Johann Sebastian Bach / Mass in b minor

Sigiswald Kuijken – educational and musical direction

Sigiswald Kuijken, renowned Bach specialist and musical director of the ensemble La Petite Bande, will in 2011 conduct the Ambronay European Baroque Academy for the first time. He follows, among others, William Christie, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Jordi Savall, Hervé Niquet, Paul McCreesh, Jean Tubéry and Christophe Rousset.

For this project of training and professional insertion, Sigiswald Kuijken has naturally turned to his favourite repertoire and has chosen to work on and conduct Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in b minor, a true masterpiece of the baroque repertoire.

He will, however, be asking his young instrumentalists and singers to tackle this centrepiece of the repertoire from a new angle. He has decided to perform this Mass in b minor with one singer per vocal part.

16 singers recruited from amongst the best young soloists in Europe will alternate throughout the work to give voice to Bach's marvellous airs and choruses.

This venture, which Sigiswald Kuijken has wanted to undertake for several years, will allow the public to (re)discover this timeless masterpiece with new ears, in an interpretation imbued with a new fluidity, lightness and transparency.

The training period will take place from 15-27 September 2011 in residence at the Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia (Italy), under the supervision of a team of first-rate tutors (Jean-François Madeuf, Barthold & Sara Kuijken, and Gerlinde Sämann).

The first performance will take place on 28 September in Pavia, and a European tour will follow from 29 September to 16 October. This will allow the young artists to participate in the Ambronay Festival as well as at Monza and Brescia in Italy, in Lisbon, Anvers and at the Avignon opera.

Musical forces:

16 singers (SSAATTBB) minimum

Orchestra: 20 musicians

Strings (2-2-1-1-1), 2 transverse flutes, 3 oboes, 2 bassoons, 3 trumpets, 1 horn, timpani, organ.


  • Auditions in February 2011 (Paris, Warsaw, Leipzig, Barcelona, The Hague)

  • Rehearsal: 15 - 27 September 2011 (Pavia)

  • Premiere: 28 September 2011 (Pavia)

Last update 11 Jul 2012
2011: 18th Ambronay European Baroque Academy

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