Boston Bach Birthday 331 Program


Boston Bach Birthday 2016 title











Reserve your German Lunch or Balcony Seating Here


BOSTON BACH BIRTHDAY 331 – March 19, 2016

8AM – 6PM, at the First Lutheran Church of Boston

Free Admission, donation gratefully accepted

Sponsored jointly for the 8th consecutive year by the First Lutheran Church of Boston and the Boston Chapter, American Guild of Organists

Celebrating the 331st Birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21, 1685) and

Looking Towards the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: 1517-2017

Organ: by Richards, Fowkes & Co., Opus X

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Concordia Lutheran High School Choir visits Boston

clhs choir
Here comes Concordia Lutheran High School! On Friday, February 26th at 7 pm, you can hear the prized A Cappella Choir of Concordia Lutheran High School from Fort Wayne, Indiana in concert at First Lutheran. Finalists in the Indiana State High School Choral Music Competition for the past three years, this 50-member chorus will spend a one-week tour in places like Toledo, Tonawanda NY, and just west of here in Fitchburg along with Boston of course!
Their program of sacred music will include several hymns to be sung by us all. To learn more about the group, visit their Facebook page.

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Boston Bach Birthday; Save the Date March 19th, 2016


Guess whose birthday is fast approaching once again?


That’s right, it’s him again!

The annual celebration of of J.S. Bach’s birthday will take place at First Lutheran Church on March 19th, 2016. A full dose of free and excellent music for fans of all ages will run from morning through evening including a cantata Vespers worship service, works for the organ and other instruments, a children’s program plus the festive German lunch.

Tune in to this space for more details shortly.


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Minister of Music Position Overview and Application Process



First Lutheran Church of Boston is seeking an accomplished minister of music to complement its ministry team in fulfilling its strategic vision of spreading the Gospel to the Greater Boston community.

First Lutheran Church of Boston (“FLC”) is a congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (“LCMS”). FLC was established in 1839 in the city of Boston. Located since 1955 in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay, FLC consistently preaches the message of Christ crucified, risen and coming again.  FLC regularly has worship for up to 200 souls in two Sunday services and offers a complete schedule of festival services during the church year.

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German Concert Organist Thiemo Janssen at FLC, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m.

Dear friends of music at FLC,

I invite you to our special concert featuring German concert organist Thiemo Janssen, organist at the famous Arp-Schnitger-Organ (1688) in Norden/Eastern Frisia. Here is a video of him playing (in German!)

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Reformation’s 500th Anniversary Through Bach

Read about our Bach Vespers on the Boston Musical Intelligencer.

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First Lutheran Church of Boston Announces Special Bach Vespers Schedule for 2015-2016 Services Mark Start to Reformation Anniversary Celebration


FLC Bach Vespers Announcement

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Sept. 7 Labor Day Concert: Italian Wind Music from the 16-17th Centuries

Italian music for Cornetto and Recorder

Labor Day, September 7, 7:30 p.m.

First Lutheran Church of Boston


  • Nathaniel Cox, Cornetto
  • Heloise Degrugillier, recorder
  • Jacques Lee Wood, cello,
  • Bálint Karosi, harpsichord and organ

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Boston Early Music Festival June 7-13, 2015

FLC is a proud host of a series of events related to the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival, from June 7-13, 2015 . Founded in 1980 by a group of dedicated performers and instrument makers interested in promoting historical performance in the United States, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is now universally recognized as a leader in the field of early music. Through a wide array of acclaimed performances, exciting and educational events, and Grammy-nominated opera recordings, BEMF has earned its place as North America’s premier presenting organization for conservators and performers of music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods and has secured Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe).

One of the most important features of each Festival is the remarkable array of Fringe Concerts—performances by nearly 100 soloists and ensembles from New England, North America, and Europe—that ilumine the the wonderful music and musicians of the Early Music field. The 2015 lineup will include concerts by Chatham Baroque, New York Continuo Collective, Pegasus Early Music with NYS Baroque, HESPERUS, and Musical Offering, to name but a few.

2015 BEMF Schedule at First Lutheran Church of Boston:


3pm Antico Moderno (Balint Karosi and Jacques Lee Wood, artistic co-directors)

New compositions by the winners of Antico Moderno’s first composers’ workshop. The Antico Moderno 2015 Composers Workshop offeres composers a chance to work closely with a professional period chamber ensemble so that they may enhance their knowledge of historical instruments  and performance practices and the musical/compositional possibilities these offer. Selected composers will have their works performed in this concert premiering the new works. FREE


4:30pm Infusion Baroque (Alexa Raine-Wright, Baroque flute & recorder; Sallynee Amawat, Baroque violin; Camille Paquette-Roy, Baroque violoncello; Rona Nadler, harpsichord). “Who Killed Leclair?” At six o’clock on the morning of October 24, 1764, the violin virtuoso and composer Jean-Marie Leclair was found stabbed to death in the entryway of his home in a suburb of Paris. No one was ever charged with his murder, and the mystery remains unsolved to this day. Infusion Baroque presents a dramatized telling of this intriguing story, alongside performances of chamber works by the great composer and hiscontemporaries. First Lutheran Church. $20 (discounts may apply).

6:30pm Friends of Tom Zajac (Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble, Dünya, Boston Camerata, Piffaro, Blue Heron, Renaissonics, and others). Battaglia d’Amor: A Benefit Concert for Tom Zajac. Performers from Boston’s Early Music Scene present a gala concert to benefit Tom Zajac as he recovers from surgery. All proceeds will go directly to Tom. Please see the Artist Directory for the full list of ensembles. First Lutheran Church. $20 suggested donation.


10am Bálint Karosi, organ & harpsichord. J. S. Bach: The Art of Fugue. Bálint Karosi, First Prize winner of the 2008 International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig, performs the entire Art of Fugue. All proceeds go to the family of Rev. Ingo Dutzmann, who recently lost their home in a fire. First Lutheran Church. $20 suggested donation.




Among America’s most esteemed organists, William Porter has been a featured performer at each BEMF Organ Mini-Festival since its inception in 2003, and he has served as its director since 2009. In addition to continuing an active performing schedule, he has taught at Oberlin, Yale, and New England Conservatory, and is presently on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and McGill University.


The only musician ever to win all major prizes at the Bruges Early Music Festival competition, organist David Yearsley is also an acclaimed musicologist and author praised for both his engaging communicative skills and his impeccable scholarship. He is a Professor of Music at Cornell University.


Hailed for his “perfect combination of technical virtuosity and intense musicianship” by Gramophone, organist John Scott has performed on five continents and alongside some of the most prestigious artists and ensembles. He is the Organist and Director of Music at New York City’s St. Thomas Church after serving in the same role for twenty-four years at London’s St. Paul Cathedral.

10am RUMBARROCO/La Donna Musicale. Latin Baroque Fusion. Haunting melodies from Spain, featuring a unique blend of Spanish, Jewish, and Arabic culture, spiced up with exuberant Latin American rhythms, and with a detour to Russian favorites, jazz, and women composers. Music by Narvaez, Pisador, Ortiz, Fernadez, Modesta Bor, and others. First Lutheran Church. $15 (discounts may apply).

2pm Antico Moderno (Balint Karosi and Jacques Lee Wood, artistic co-directors). Reflections. In line with the group’s mission, “Reflections” features three New England–based composers as they respond to seminal works of Bach and Vivaldi. Robert Honstein’s Night Scenes from Ospedale was written to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico, and imagines dark and dreamy nocturnal interludes to pair with the bright, active concerti. Balint Karosi’s Bach Studies fall between the movements of a Bach trio sonata, creating a dialogue within the piece itself. First Lutheran Church. $15.

3:30pm Ensemble Musica Humana (Corinne Byrne, soprano; Lidia Chang, flute; Andrew Kozar, trumpet; Dylan Sauerwald, harpsichord). Of Love/Of War. Ensemble Musica Humana presents a program of Alessandro Scarlatti, Melani, Handel, and Purcell, featuring vocal and instrumental repertoire on themes of “war” and “peace.” The trumpet and flute provide perfect duet partners to the voice, while contrasting with each other in timbre and connotation. These uniquely orchestrated musical selections will illustrate the duality between the two reigning Baroque aesthetics: Love and War. First Lutheran Church. $15 (discounts may apply).


12 noon Convivium Musicum. Sweelinck. Program features the music of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, the most famous Dutch composer of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. First Lutheran Church. $10 suggested donation. 617-320-7445; ruthiegm [at] gmail [dot] com;

5pm Canto Armonico, directed by Dr. Ulf Wellner. Festive Vespers for Trinity from Lübeck’s Marienkirche, ca. 1660. A vespers service as it might have been performed in the Marienkirche under the direction of Franz Tunder, with music by Monteverdi’s successor at San Marco, Giovanni Rovetta, and his circle. All music from the Marienkirche’s choir library has been prepared by musicologist Kerala Snyder. First Lutheran Church. FREE (donations gratefully accepted).

For more events visit:

Preliminary 2015 Fringe Concert Schedule: updated May 22, 2015


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Bypassing the 19th Century

MAY 13, 2015

Bypassing the Nineteenth Century

at Boston Musical Intelligencer by 


The unexamined concert is not worth programming…

Music is a sensual delight, but for the philosophical mind it can also summon thickets of meaning and association. We submit that Antico Moderno (so named because it rhymes better than in English) will reveal an elegant concept with cerebral heft when our period-instrument ensemble, with its uniquely bifurcated focus presents “La Divisione” this Friday at Boston’s First Lutheran Church. Pairing works of the Baroque alongside contemporary compositions played on the same early instruments constitutes a fascinating and, we hope, illuminatingly rarefied and well-executed departure.

“La Division” explores the many meanings of “division” in music, inspired by theory, philosophy, theology, and literature. Antico Moderno’s mission as an ensemble is to explore one very basic division of the music scene: the line between “traditional” and “new.” Many people claim definite preferences, yet many more find that the one informs their understanding of the other. For those of us who, as the concept of period performance becomes more mainstream, regularly immerse their ears in the sounds of instruments calibrated to the standards of a different time, the sound world of the “period” ensemble weaves itself into the framework of music as we know it. The logical next step, then, is to explore the horizons of the period ensemble with new repertoire. Katherine Balch, Bálint Karosi, Ian Gottlieb, and Robert Honstein are four composers who take on this challenge, and Antico Moderno presents the results. As featured guest artist, countertenor Daniel Moody lends his experience and skill to the task—all four new works incorporate sung text.

Once you look at division as a central concept to music, multiple meanings abound. The program contains two Italian Baroque pieces, a Canzon by Giovanni Gabrieli (1554-1612), in which two sections of the orchestra are physically divided in space, and one of Arcangelo Corelli’s (1653-1713) classic Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 no. 1, with the soloists opposing the orchestra. This vivid piece already anticipates the dramatic potential of the great concerti of the 18th and 19th centuries, where the virtuosity of the soloist(s) counters the color and the volume of the entire orchestra.

The program also explores a theoretical meaning of “division” referring to musical time: dividing longer notes by a number of smaller note values. This type of ornamentation (often called Passaggi, or diminutioni) was popular in Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries, when young music students were taught to improvise fast notes over slow notes using various ornamentation charts. To recreate something of the immediacy of this improvised tradition, Antico Moderno will improvise diminutions on Thomas Morley’s “O Griefe, even on the bud,” and will also perform written-out diminutioni by the early 17th-century composer Riccardo Rognoni on Cipriano de Rore’s motet “Ancor che col partire” (whose sublime beauty spurred composers and musicians to many elaborate and expressive feats over the years).

One of the other “old” pieces on the program is Heinrich Biber’s (1644-1704) raucous Battalia, an alternately joyous, chaotic, and melancholy depiction of both the noble and dirty aspects of war—featuring frequently dueling instruments. Biber is well-known for his set of “Rosary” or “Mystery” Sonatas for solo violin, which brings us to another purpose of music—making sense of life’s often insurmountably confusing conflictions, reversals, and unknowables.

Our human existence is often a constant preparation for the future, using experiences, memories and influences from our past. We struggle to grasp the present, an elusive moment, which is not yet thwarted by our faulty memories. We occupy ourselves in preparing for the future, yet, we know that our existence will eventually come to an end. Religion, spirituality, art, music and philosophy have all struggled with these questions for centuries.

So, why not have a go at the hard questions through music, using the precedent of the many musicians who have struggled with these questions for centuries? Bálint Karosi’s The Final Wait for alto, baroque strings, bells and harpsichord expresses the progression of feelings and afterlife imaginings that beset one’s mind, taking as its influence “Schage doch, gewünschte Stunde” (“Haste to strike, oh longed-for hour”) BWV 53 (formerly attributed to J. S. Bach, but probably composed by Melchior Hoffman). In Audrey Fernandez-Fraser’s original text, a waiter journeys through territories of memory and imagination, fearsome and beautiful inventions of his mind, or perhaps visions of life to come. The journey moves from anxious waiting, into a mysterious light, then back to her lonely, deadening surroundings, with angels, demons, and heavenly landscapes along the way. By the end of the aria, he is “ready,” as the last bell-strike hits.

The theme of memory, and the division between fact and mental gloss, tie together new works by Ian Gottlieb and Katherine Balch. Gottlieb assembled a series of misquotations for the text of his haunting “Song of the Mosquito,” which uses the gut-stringed orchestra to render a sort of shimmering mosquito sound. Balch’s “Recordario,” chops up a Gregorian-based chant with improvised ornamentation and a virtuosic Ligeti-esque harpsichord cadenza. Robert Honstein’s “O Lucidissime Apostolum Turba” is based on a chant by Hildegard van Bingen, with wine glasses played by the audience.

The programming of new works stems from the idea that we play music from the past because we still find it relevant to our current lives, lives in which meaning is shaped by accumulated culture, experience, knowledge, and art. Engaging with musical tradition directly and actively is what we do every time we enter a concert hall—take a small leap and hear some new ideas on the subject next to those wise voices from the past.

antico-bAntico Moderno Presents “La Divisione”
May 15th at 7:30
First Lutheran Church
299 Berkeley St, Boston,

More information about the ensemble can be found here Tickets available here

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