Birmingham Bach Choir celebrates cathedral’s 300th anniversary

A special concert of 18th century music for the 18th century Birmingham Cathedral.

Soloist, Nika Goric.

Birmingham Bach Choir celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Baroque-styled Birmingham Cathedral with Magnificat, a special concert of 18th century Baroque music, on Saturday 28 March 2015.

Famed for its drama and economy, as well as being one of Bach’s most popular choral works, Magnificat will be performed alongside two of Bach’s Cantata’s: No. 50, Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (Now Is Come Salvation and Strength), and  No. 31, Der Himmel Lacht! Die Erde Jubilieret! (Heaven Laughs! The Earth Rejoices!). Completing the programme is Handel’s Dixit Dominus which, like Bach’s Magnificat, requires five soloists.

Bach’s Cantata No. 31 was written in 1715, the same year that St Phillip’s was completed. Initially built as a parish church to satisfy the sudden growth of the local population, the creation of the new Diocese of Birmingham in 1905 resulted in the upgrade to cathedral status. A Grade 1 listed building, the cathedral is a fine example of English Baroque architecture, and was designed by Thomas Archer.

Joining the choir for the occasion are the London Baroque Sinfonia, plus acclaimed soloists Nika Goric (soprano), Charlotte Schoeters (soprano), Claire Barnett-Jones (alto), Julian Gregory (tenor) and Tristan Hambleton (bass).

The concert has been made possible thanks to the late Stanley Sellers – the leading late-20th century architect who designed many landmark buildings across the West Midlands. The long-term partner of Richard Butt, conductor of the Birmingham Bach Choir from 1966 to 1992, Stanley passed away in 2013, but specially requested a performance of JS Bach’s Magnificat by the Birmingham Bach Choir, leaving a generous legacy for this purpose.

Paul Spicer, Musical Director and Conductor of the Birmingham Bach Choir says: “We’re honoured that Stanley wished for us to perform Magnificat – he was such an admirer and supporter of the choir, and he remains much missed. We’ll be very much thinking of him when we perform.”

“We’re also very pleased to be part of the cathedral’s tercentenary – a landmark birthday for a Birmingham landmark.”

Tickets for Magnificat are on sale now priced £18 (£16 concessions) and £10 (gallery), available from THSH Box Office 0121 780 3333 or via:


Saturday 28 March 2015
Birmingham Bach Choir: Magnificat
Birmingham Bach Choir, with the London Sinfonia, perform JS Bach’s Magnificat, plus Cantata’s No. 31 and No.50, and Handel’s Dixit Dominus. Conducted by Paul Spicer.
Birmingham Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2QB
Tickets: £18 (£16 conc); £10 (Gallery)
Available from 0121 780 3333 or

Notes For Editors


Based in the West Midlands, among Sellers’ architectural projects were Solihull Library and Arts Complex, The Loft Theatre in Leamington Spa, Kidderminster’s Rose Theatre and Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre – for which Sellers’ also secured a much-valued sculpture from his friend, the artist Barbara Hepworth.


As one of the UK’s leading large chamber choirs Birmingham Bach Choir has been contributing to the musical life of the West Midlands since 1919, making it one of the oldest musical groups in the area. Although they perform music spanning over 300 years, their main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), plus 20th and 21st century works.

2013/2014 marked Birmingham Bach Choirs’ 95th season and included the World Premiere of a brand new choral symphony by Paul Spicer and Euan Tait to mark the outbreak of The Great War entitled Unfinished Remembering – a key event in the UK-wide First World War Centenary programme which debuted at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, to great acclaim in September 2014.

The Choir’s 2014/2015 Season includes Bach’s Magnificat (28 March 2015, Birmingham Cathedral) and Duruflé Requiem (27 June 2015, St Paul’s, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham; 4 July 2015, Tewksbury Abbey, Glos).

For more information, including details of forthcoming concerts, see:


Birmingham Cathedral:
Nika Goric:


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