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About us

Liverpool Bach Collective was formed in 2013, with the aim of putting on performances of J S Bach's cantatas in churches in and around Liverpool every month as part of Sunday Evensong or Vespers. The cantatas chosen are based on, or are at least relevant to, the readings of the day in the churches visited.

The Collective usually consists of eight singers and an ensemble of around ten players, generally strings, oboes, bassoon and organ; the ensemble is enlarged when the music demands it. The performers are a mix of professional, semi-professional and amateur musicians, and the Collective is directed by Philip Duffy, formerly Master of the Music at the Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.  The singers and players all have a love for the music of Bach and are united in their passion and their commitment in performing these wonderful works. 

By the end of the current season, the Collective will have given sixty-one cantata performances, involving forty-seven different cantatas in thirty-five churches, from Hightown to Rainhill and Ince Blundell to Birkenhead. The ensemble continues to enlarge its following of interested listeners.

In 2018 the Collective staged the first of three annual performances of Bach’s St John Passion, and it looks forward to performing the St Matthew Passion in 2021.

About our organ

The Collective has its own continuo organ, specially built for it by master organ builder Gyula Vági in Budapest in 2015. The organ has three ranks of pipes, two of wood (Gedackt 8' and Floete 4') and one of metal (Ocktav 2'). The case is made from cherry wood, the keyboard is plum, and the wooden pipes are made from maple.

COVID 19

Covid19 Pandemic – Update   August 2020

The Collective’s main responsibility continues to be towards the health of our performers and their families and, of course, our audiences/congregations, and in our future activities we will follow government guidelines, as the situation develops.

Concern has been expressed in several countries over the possible dangers of the spread of the virus by singing. However, some important research is at last being done at national level in the UK, into the possible spraying of droplets and aerosolised pathogen by singers, and indeed wind players - but it is at a relatively early stage.  We will continue to follow this research closely.

All members of the Collective feel very deprived and isolated at being unable to rehearse and perform together, but we have to be realistic. And we do very much look forward to being able to resume our performances of Bach’s glorious music.

Meanwhile we send our best wishes to our friends and supporters for their continued safety at this strange and stressful time.

Philip Duffy
Director, Liverpool Bach Collective