The Bach Institute at Valparaiso University was established to ensure the legacy of the music and theological perspective of Johann Sebastian Bach for future generations.
The Institute explores the life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach from its proper historic, musical, and theological context through faithful and artistic performances, seminars, and other academic activities. Since 2005, the Bach Institute has hosted a number of pre-eminent guest scholars.
Relationship with St. Thomas Church
The Bach Institute also serves as a touchpoint for Valparaiso University’s unique relationship with St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany where J.S. Bach served as cantor. These activities provide for the enrichment of Valparaiso University, its students, its community, and the broader musical and religious communities in the United States and around the world.
Throughout its history, the church and its St. Thomas Boys’ Choir have played a significant role in shaping Lutheran church music. In 1723, J.S. Bach was installed as St. Thomas’ director of music, a position he served for 27 years.
Throughout the last decade, Valparaiso University has developed a strong relationship with St. Thomas Church, and the Valpo Chorale is the only collegiate American choir to serve four residencies at the church. Because of the close partnership between the two institutions, Valpo offers a rare opportunity for music enthusiasts in the Midwest region to see the choir of Johann Sebastian Bach’s home church.
The Bach Choir
The Valparaiso University Bach Choir is an auditioned ensemble serving the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. The choir includes Valpo students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the wider Chicagoland community.
The Bach Choir made its debut in the 2001 performance of Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion”, and participated in the inauguration of the Bach Institute in January 2004, performing Bach’s “Mass in B Minor”, both under the direction of Maestro Helmuth Rilling.
Phone: (219) 464-5000
Email: Contact Bach Institute
Social Media: Valparaiso on Facebook
Other: Bach Institute Performances