Biennial Meeting of the American Bach Society

September 27–30, 2012

Rochester, NY

The 2012 meeting was held at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, in conjunction with the annual Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival. The topic of the conference, "Bach and the Organ," had been chosen because many of the concerts presented by EROI featured the baroque organ—a reconstruction of an organ built by Adam Gottlob Casparini in 1776—that Eastman recently installed in nearby Christ Church. The joint program included a keynote address by Peter Williams, fourteen papers, a panel discussion on two new editions of Bach’s organ works, music history and organ performance masterclasses, and numerous concerts, including a reconstruction Thursday evening of Mendelssohn’s 1840 Leipzig concert of Bach organ works by Eastman organ professors Hans Davidsson, David Higgs, and William Porter; a recital by Jacques van Oortmerssen Friday evening; a concert by the Boston Early Musical Festival Chamber Ensemble with organist Edoardo Bellotti featuring cantatas with obbligato organ by Bach and Stölzel Saturday evening; and Sunday afternoon recitals by Robert Bates of Bach’s Clavierübung III and by Edoardo Bellotti on Eastman’s Italian baroque organ.


Thursday, September 27

1:30-5:00 PM Cominsky Promenade, Eastman School of Music


2:30-4:30 PM Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music

Musicology Masterclass with students from Daniel Zager's graduate seminar
Daniel R. Melamed, respondent

5:00 PM Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music


Douglas Lowry, Dean of the Eastman School of Music

Panel Discussion of the New Bach Editions

David Schulenburg and George Stauffer

6:30 PM Rochester Club Ballroom

Light Dinner Reception

8:00 PM Christ Church

Reconstruction of Mendelssohn's Organ Concert in Leipzig, 1840

Hans Davidsson, David Higgs, and William Porter

Friday, September 28

9 AM-12 PM Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music

Keynote Address

Peter Williams: On Bach and the Organ

Paper Session I: The Eighteenth Century Organist

Andrew Talle (Johns Hopkins University): The Daily Life of a German Organist around 1750

William A. Little (University of Virginia): The Students of Bach: The Curious Case of Matthias Sojka

12-1 PM Rochester Club Ballroom


1 PM Christ Church

Concert by Eastman Organ Students: Selections from the Orgelbüchlein

2:30-5:30 PM Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music

Paper Session II: The Organ in Eighteenth-Century Germany

Lynn Edwards Butler (Vancouver, BC): Bach's Report on Johann Scheibe's Organ for Leipzig's St. Paul's Church: A Reassessment

Peter Wollny (Bach-Archiv Leipzig): An Unknown Collection of Organ Dispositions from Bach's Circle

Gregory Butler (University of British Columbia): The Trost Organ in Altenburg and Bach's Clavierübung III as Manifestations of the Triunophilia of Duke Frederick III of Saxe-Gotha

Michael Maul (Bach-Archiv Leipzig): Johann Mattias Holzhey's Fight for a New Instrument: Newly Discovered Documents about Organ Building, Playing, and Networking of Organists from Bach's Thuringia

6 PM Location TBA

Meeting of the ABS Advisory Board

Dinner on your own

8 PM Christ Church

Organ Recital by Jacques van Oortmerssen

Saturday, September 29

7:45 AM Location TBA

Meeting of the ABS Editorial Board

9 AM-12 PM Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music

Paper Session III: Chorales, Preludes, and Fugues

Robin Leaver (Yale University): What is the Significance of the Manuscript Choral-Buch Attributed to Bach in the Sibley Library?

Russell Stinson (Lyon College): Bach and the Varied Stollen

Ellen Exner (University of South Carolina): “Lent by me and never recovered”: Lost Homilius Manuscript Found

David Schulenberg (Wagner College): Preludes and Fugues by Bach? Questions of Text, Genre, and Attribution in the Organ Works

12-1 PM Rochester Club Ballroom


1 PM Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music

Clavichord Recital by Joel Speerstra

2:30-5:30 PM Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music

Paper Session IV

Organ and Harpsichord

Mary Oleskiewicz (University of Massachusetts, Boston): Keyboards, Bachs, and Berlin: Keyboard Instruments and Members of the Bach Family at the Court of Frederick "the Great"

Matthew Dirst (University of Houston): Continuo Practice in the Bach Passions

The Organist as "Concertist"

Christoph Wolff (Harvard University): Did J. S. Bach Write Organ Concertos? Apropos the Prehistory of the Cantata Movements with Obbligato Organ

Matthew Cron (Sudbury, MA): Representations of Heaven in the Obbligato Organ Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach

6 PM Christ Church

Concert of vocal-instrumental music by the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble with organist Edoardo Bellotti

Program to include:

Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata BWV 170, Vergnüte Ruh', beliebte Seelenlust

Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Continuo No. 3 in D, BWV 1054


Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749)

Cantata Sind wir aber mit Christo gestorben

Cantata Das Volk so im Finstern wandelt

Cantata Stimmt an mit vollen Chören


[Performance will repeat at 8:30 PM for general public]

8 PM Rochester Club Ballroom

Banquet for all participants, with address by Mary Greer, President of the American Bach Society

Sunday, September 30

9:30 AM Rochester Club Ballroom

Brunch and business meeting for ABS members

11 AM Christ Church

Worship service including congregational song, motets, and voluntaries on the Craighead-Saunders Organ and the newly installed Hook & Hastings Opus 1573

Lunch on your own

1 PM Bus departs from the Eastman School of Music for the Sacred Heart Cathedral

2 PM Sacred Heart Cathedral

Organ Recital by Robert Bates: Clavierübung III

4:30 PM Bus departs for Memorial Art Gallery

5:30 PM Memorial Art Gallery - Fountain Court

Recital on the Italian Baroque Organ by Edoardo Bellotti: Bach and the Italian Influence

6:30 PM Memorial Art Gallery - Pavilion

Light Dinner Reception

8:15 PM Bus departs for Christ Church

8:50 PM Christ Church

Organ prelude to Compline

9 PM Christ Church

Compline with the Christ Church Schola Cantorum

Monday, October 1

9 AM-12 PM Christ Church

Jacques van Oortmerssen masterclass for Eastman students