Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bach Akademie Luzern

Last Friday saw the premiere professional performance of the Bach Akademie Luzern in a production of J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio at the Matthäuskirche in Lucerne. The first of three performances, the Orchestra, Choir, and Soloists will continue on to perform this week around Switzerland.

The ensemble began as a Bach cantata project organised by students at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, performing with modern instruments. Soon after their performance a year ago, there was a hope to do a much larger work. "We wanted to do a Christmas Oratorio with the full choir, and an orchestra performing on period instruments," says Martin Caduff, executive director and solo Countertenor of the Akademie, "but we knew it was going to be a lot of work." Over the summer, Caduff put a huge effort into establishing the structure of the ensemble, as well as fundraising. Securing a talented orchestra and soloists, as well as enlisting the project's musical director, Pascal Mayer, Caduff has already seen his efforts beginning to pay off. "I was really, really, really, happy in the rehearsals, and that made me start thinking about planning our next project!"

The Akademie hopes to build its brand in the coming years performing Bach exclusively, with one major project per year, in addition to several smaller ones. As managing a group of over 40 performers demands a lot of work behind the scenes, Caduff won't be moving too far too fast while he completes his training in cultural management at the University of Lucerne.

While most of the ensemble's composition reside in the Lucerne area, a number of the instrumentalists come from Basel. The proximity between the two cities has been very convenient notes Caduff, "since it's only one hour on the train there's no need to pay for [expensive] flights or accommodation. It's much nicer that the musicians still get to sleep in their own bed!" No doubt future projects will include more collaborations with Basel-based instrumentalists.

Though the ensemble may not perform so frequently in the short-term, there is no doubt about the quality of its work. And with two more performances in the next few days, those who have the chance should take the opportunity to hear this young ensemble.

Tomorrow Bach Akademie Luzern will perform in Chur, with a final performance on Sunday in Zurich (all of the information regarding these performances can be found on their website). 

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