Scholarly Symposium

April 12-13, 2019

Bach in the Imaginary Museum and Bach Re-Imagined: Contemporary Perspectives on Performing and Re-Creating Bach

Click for Symposium schedule

J. S. Bach’s music—widely regarded as a foundation of the “standard repertoire”—is constantly being recycled within contemporary musical culture, ranging from historic recreations and historically informed performances (HIP), to adaptations, arrangements, covers, and new works that are influenced by or inspired by “Bach.” This symposium seeks to bring together scholars (and possibly composers) from diverse perspectives to elucidate the multiple ways that the music of J.S. Bach has been re-imagined from the time of the Mendelssohn Revival to the present.

Topics may range from the philosophical to the practical: notions of the work concept and Werktreue; new perspectives on historically informed performance practice; arrangements and adaptations; changing ideas about the role of the performer; Bach in popular music, film music, and jazz; and the influence of Bach in the composition of new works and as a topic in contemporary culture.



Please click on name for Presenter/Panelist biography.

Image of Lydia Goehr, keynote speaker

Lydia Goehr, Keynote Speaker
Columbia University

The Work of Music: Situating Bach in a Public Culture of Blasphemy, Devotion, and Resurrection


Image of Takla Babyak

Tekla Babyak
Independent Scholar

The St. Thomas Aquinas of Music: Liszt’s Catholic Image of Bach


Image of Owen Belcher

Owen Belcher
University of Massachusetts Amherst

J.S. Bach on Exhibit in the Museum of Music Theory


Image of Maureen Carr

Maureen Carr
Penn State University
(At Stravinsky Fountain, Paris)

Echoes of an Offering: Bach’s Influence on the Creative Process for the “Symphony of Psalms” Fugue


Image of Ellen Exner

Ellen Exner
New England Conservatory

Friedrich Smend, Friedrich Blume, and the Myth of Mendelssohn’s “Matthew”


Image of Ruth HaCohen

Ruth HaCohen
Hebrew University, Jerusalem

A Nietzschean Moment in a Bach’s Passion? – Revisiting “Zerfließe mein Herze”, BWV 245 (35)


Image of Erinn Knyt

Erinn Knyt
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Bach-Busoni “Goldberg Variations”


Image of Karolina Kolinek

Karolina Kolinek
University of California Davis

Bach Rewrite – Marcin Masecki, Wurlitzer Piano and Ontology of Bach’s Music


Image of Peter Kupfer

Peter Kupfer
Southern Methodist University

“Good Hands”: The Music of J.S. Bach in Television Commercials


Image of John Lutterman

John Lutterman
University of Anchorage Alaska

Interpreting Bach’s Cello Suites: “Werktreue” vs. “Praxistreue”


Image of Ernest May

Ernest May
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Glenn Gould, “Bach Digital,” “Bach 333,” and YouTube: Bach in the Digital Museum of Musical Performance


Image of Emiliano Ricciardi

Emiliano Ricciardi
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Transcribing and Completing “The Art of Fugue”: The Case of Berio’s “Contrapunctus XIX”


Image of Yo Tomita

Yo Tomita
Queen’s University Belfast

The Bach Printed-Music Database and its Roles in the Reception Study of Bach’s Works


Additional Panelists

Image of Michael Marissen

Michael Marissen
Swarthmore College

Image of Thomas Cressy

Thomas Cressy
Cornell University

Image of Andrea Moore

Andrea Moore
Smith College


With support from
New England Public Radio

And additional support from:

Stamell Stringed Instruments, Amherst, MA & Poughkeepsie, NY

Northampton Community Music Center, Northampton, MA

Five College Learning in Retirement, Northampton, MA