Bach Week Ansbach

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Logo of the Bachwoche Ansbach

The Bach Week Ansbach is a festival of classical music that is committed to the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach . It has been held annually since 1948, and every two years since 1967 in Ansbach in Central Franconia . The first Bach Week in 1947 was held in Pommersfelden .

Well-known artists of the world's finest contest the program. Yehudi Menuhin , Gidon Kremer , Mstislaw Rostropowitsch , Ludwig Hoelscher , Ferdinand Leitner and Karl Richter played in Ansbach . In recent years, z. B. John Eliot Gardiner , Philippe Herreweghe , Ton Koopman , Masaaki Suzuki , Hans-Christoph Rademann and Rudolf Lutz with their ensembles, as well as Andreas Staier and Martin Stadtfeld as soloists.


In the first year the festival took place at Pommersfelden Castle. In 1948 the company moved to the largely undamaged Ansbach with its residence. The Munich art dealer Carl Weymar took over the organization . In the beginning it was mainly Weymar and cellist Ludwig Hoelscher , supported by the conductor Ferdinand Leitner , who set up the program together with artist friends. Prominent guests such as the violinists Wolfgang Schneiderhan and Yehudi Menuhin , the pianist Wilhelm Kempff , the flautist Aurèle Nicolet , the singers Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau soon joined them. They were always supported by the Bachwoche soloist community, which as an orchestra formed the backbone of the festival week.

From 1955 to 1964 the harpsichordist and conductor Karl Richter directed the Bach Week. Then Rudolf Hetzer, a member of the “ Association of Friends of the Bach Week ”, which was founded in 1948 and is still the mainstay of the Bach Week, became the new artistic director. The city of Ansbach took over the sponsorship of the Bach Week. During Hetzer's time, the changeover takes place every two years. International artists and ensembles such as Nathan Milstein , Mstislaw Rostropowitsch and Neville Marriner , but also The English Consort and the London Baroque Soloists came increasingly , which also brought ideas about historical performance practice into Ansbach.

After Hetzer resigned his post in 1979 for health reasons, he was followed by Hans Georg Schäfer , a studied pianist and composer. He led the Bach Week for almost 20 years. He also included the Bach sons in the program and expanded the spectrum of composers beyond Bach from Claudio Monteverdi , Henry Purcell and Heinrich Schütz to Paul Hindemith , Witold Lutosławski and Arvo Pärt . In addition to the biennial rhythm, another Bach week was celebrated in 2000 on the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, which in turn was dedicated solely to the work of the jubilee.

Lotte Thaler was the artistic director from 2001 to 2005. She set new accents by setting thematic priorities ("Bach and Stravinsky"), giving greater weight to the music of the 20th century and adding new elements to the Bach Week, such as the Bach consultation hours, children's and jazz concerts.

Andreas Bomba has been the managing director and director since spring 2006 . He led the Bach Week into its 60th anniversary in 2007. The Bach Week Ansbach is the oldest music festival in Germany that takes place at a constant location - with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach as its focus.


The main venues are the orangery in the courtyard garden , the state hall in the margrave residence and the Johannis and Gumbertus Church . A few concerts are held in other Ansbach locations, such as B. in the Karlshalle, the synagogue or in the Onoldiasaal. In addition, there are usually individual concerts in the Heilsbronn Minster .

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