JANUARY 3 – 21, 2019


A collaboration between
Emmanuel Music, Oberlin College, and Winsor Music

Singers must arrive by Thursday, January 3, 2019.
Instrumentalists must arrive on Friday, January 4, 2019.

Application deadline: October 31, 2018
Notification: November 10, 2018

About the institute

The Bach Institute is a collaboration amongst Emmanuel Music, Oberlin College and Winsor Music.  It provides students and young professionals with the opportunity to explore and perform Bach cantata arias. For nearly three weeks in January, students participate in the weekly cantatas at Emmanuel Church, study Bach cantata arias and perform them on outreach concerts in Boston and the surrounding area. The culmination of the Bach Institute is a public concert at Emmanuel Church.  

The Bach Institute is open to college students, graduate students and young professionals from all over the world. There are openings for:  soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone/bass-baritone, violin, oboe, flute, cello, double bass, and keyboard. (Keyboard players should know or expect to learn figured bass.)

The bach institute offers:

Opportunities to Perform:

  • Three weekend cantatas with the Emmanuel Music ensemble
  • A complete Bach cantata with Emmanuel Music’s Artistic Director Ryan Turner, conductor
  • The prelude and postlude music for Emmanuel Church services
  • Four outreach concerts in retirement communities throughout greater Boston
  • A children’s concert (designed by the students) at an elementary school in Dorchester, MA
  • A final public performance of Bach arias at Emmanuel Church

Opportunities to Learn:

  • Three roundtable discussions of the weekend cantatas with Ryan Turner and Pamela Dellal.
  • Masterclasses and lectures with Bach experts such as John Harbison, Bob Levin, Christoph Wolff and Ryan Turner.
  • Detailed discussions about the texts of the assigned arias, including the source material of the cantata texts, what the references mean, and how these difficult texts relate to the music and to Bach’s life and times.
  • Intensive coachings with Emmanuel musicians Ryan Turner, Kendra Colton, Frank Kelley, Peggy Pearson, Heidi Braun-Hill, Michael Sponseller, and Rafael Popper-Keizer on shaping the music (ensemble as well as individual attention).

Fun Facts: 

  • Performances are at 440 on modern instruments.
  • Students are housed with host families and are able to walk to Emmanuel Church daily or use public transportation.
  • Students attend as many cultural events in Boston as possible.  In previous years we have attended performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, A Far Cry, Cantata Singers, the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions, and danced to The Rite of Spring (or played in the orchestra!)
  • Our faculty represents approximately 170 years of collective Bach performance experience at Emmanuel Church.  Our mission is to inspire and infuse young musicians with the passion we feel for the complex and awe-inspiring arias and duets by Johann Sebastian Bach, and to share our depth of knowledge with future Bach performers and promoters. 

Repertoire commitments

  • Repertoire is assigned by the faculty.

  • Assigned repertoire must be learned prior to arrival.

  • Singers and instrumentalists may be assigned as many as five arias/duets.

  • Instrumentalists may also be assigned instrumental chamber music.

  • Scores for singers and keyboard players can be obtained at

  • Parts will be provided for obbligato instrumentalists and cellists.

  • Keyboard players must be prepared to read figured bass. 

Questions about the Application?

  • Questions about the institute or your application materials?
  • Problems with our online form?
Final Performance at Lindsey Chapel, 2011

Final Performance at Lindsey Chapel, 2011

The coachings… how rewarding these were. I felt both exhausted and energized at the end of each day. It was such a joy to work so meticulously on details that usually go unnoticed, to be inspired by the experience of musicians who really knew what they’re talking about, to focus on chamber skills in a colorful way.
— Olivia Boen, 2014
Bach Institute 2012

Bach Institute 2012

My favorite part, what I’ll carry with me, is the process, the growth over time. What I cherish now, and what I probably will for a long while, is space between where I/we began and where I/we finished.
— Daniel McGrew, 2012
Bach Institute 2013

Bach Institute 2013

By far my favorite, and the most valuable musical experience I have had in many years. I would definitely recommend it, and definitely go back.
— Colin Doyle, 2015
The Bach Institute at the Mather School, 2013

The Bach Institute at the Mather School, 2013