Dramatic Bach masterpiece set for Priory

Tenor Thomas Hobbs

– Birmingham Bach Choir head to Great Malvern Priory for JS Bach’s St John Passion

In the run-up to Easter, Birmingham Bach Choir visit Great Malvern Priory, Worcestershire (5 March 2016), for a performance of one of JS Bach’s greatest works, St John Passion.

First performed in 1724, it’s a powerful, gripping and emotional work. An opera in all but name, it reflects all the drama of the terrible events leading up to the crucifixion, and to Jesus’ burial.

From the anguished, discordant wailing of the oboes in the first movement to the mob shouting for Jesus’ death, and from the extraordinary arias which comment on the action to the great chorales which punctuate the work, it’s widely regarded as one of the truly great musical masterpieces of all time.

For this performance, Birmingham Bach Choir will be accompanied by the Midlands-based Musical and Amicable Society Chamber Orchestra and tenor Thomas Hobbs, fresh from engagements in Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. They’re joined by Natalie Clifton-Griffith (soprano), James Laing (alto), Daniel Auchincloss (tenor), Adrian Powter (Christus) and Jonathan Gunthorpe (bass). Conducting is Paul Spicer.

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in what is now central Germany in 1685. His works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, and the Mass in B minor. Bach’s two-part St John Passion is one of two major passions (the other being St Matthew) by the Baroque composer, and follows the Gospel of John. He died in 1750 in Leipzig aged 65 and nearly blind, a year after finishing his great B Minor Mass.

Birmingham Bach Choir’s Chair Sarah Platt said: “We’re delighted to be singing in Malvern in one of the loveliest settings for Bach’s work. We have assembled a stellar cast of soloists for this concert including Thomas Hobbs, one of the great Evangelists of modern times.

“This music is in Birmingham Bach Choir’s blood, and we intend to thrill and deeply move our audience.”

Tickets for St John Passion, at Great Malvern Priory, Worcestershire, on Saturday 5 March 2016 are £20 (£18 conc), available via: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com


Saturday 5 March 2016
Birmingham Bach Choir: JS Bach’s St John Passion
Birmingham Bach Choir
Musical and Amicable Society – Chamber Orchestra
Paul Spicer – conductor
Thomas Hobbs – Evangelist
Natalie Clifton-Griffith – soprano
James Laing – alto
Daniel Auchincloss – tenor
Adrian Powter – Christus
Jonathan Gunthorpe – bass
Great Malvern Priory, Church St, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 2AY
£20 (£18 concessions) from 07901 798442 or email tickets@birmingham.bachchoir.com
Details: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com

Additional Box Office details:

THSH.co.uk Tel 0121 345 0600
malvern-theatres.co.uk Tel: 01684 892277
Booking fees apply.



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 longest established musical groups in the area. Although the main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), the choir performs music spanning over 300 years including 20th and 21st century works.

“A huge degree of dynamic subtlety… exhilarating… a wonderful evening.”  5-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Magnificat at Birmingham Cathedral, March 2015).

The choir’s 2015-2016 season includes A Shakespearean Concert (18 June 2016, CBSO Centre, Birmingham; 2 July 2016, Stratford Arts House, Stratford-upon-Avon) as part of the UK-wide commemoration marking 400 years since the playwright’s death.

For more information see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com


Much in demand, Hobbs has performed and recorded with many leading ensembles and companies, including the English National Opera (ENO), Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO). He regularly tours the US and Europe.

See: www.thomashobbs.co.uk

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