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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 2022.

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.


Covid19 pandemic – update August 2021

As we emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic, all the members of the Collective are really looking forward to making music again. Our first cantata will be Nun danket alle Gott (BWV 192) – Now Thank we all our God – a celebration of thanksgiving for music, its beauty and value, and for our musicians being able to make music together again at last. Please see 'Future Events' for further details of this event. 

We will continue to show responsibility towards the health of our performers and their families and, of course, our audiences/congregations. We will of course follow government guidelines, and those of each church we visit, in all our future activities.

We hope our usual pattern of monthly cantatas will be able to proceed without interruption, but we remain cautious, and we will publish details of each performance a month in advance.

We very much look forward to seeing our friends and supporters again, and to sharing with them again the experience of Bach’s Cantatas.

Philip Duffy
Director, Liverpool Bach Collective