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Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart


In 1981 Helmuth Rilling, one of the world’s foremost experts on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, founded the Internationale Bachakademie (IBA). Under his direction and in collaboration with hänssler CLASSIC, Maestro Rilling oversaw the recording of the complete works of Bachs on 172 CDs: a unique undertaking that remains unrivalled. Upon completion, the Edition Bachakaemie received global acclaim and numerous national and international awards. To this day, the sheer variety of interpretative approaches and inclusion of great artists like Juliane Banse, Thomas Quasthoff, Robert Lewin and many others contributed to the success of this edition. The thematic focus of Bach’s compositions are choral works and oratorios.


From back then to today

As envisioned by founding the director of the IBA, Andreas Keller, the academy was founded as a research center for the music of Bach, a host for concerts and master classes as well as a supporting institution for Rilling’s the two ensembles, the Gächinger Kantorei and the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart. The Bachakademie and their ensembles enjoy an international reputation for intelligent, sensitive and energetic interpretations, preferring the use of modern instruments and vocal techniques. As head of the academy, Helmuth Rilling has shaped the IBA while serving as artistic director of the Gächinger Kantorei and the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart and appearing as a popular guest conductor all over the world. In 2008, Christian Lorenz, who will lead the Bachakademie into the 21st century, succeeded Mr. Keller. 


From today to tomorrow

The contuining work of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart is characterised by three fields of activity: events – ensembles – music outreach.

EVENTS: Every year six great oratorios are programed by the Stuttgarter Akademiekonzerte, a series of subscription concerts taking place in the Beethoven Hall of the Liederhalle in Stuttgart. The Bachwoche Stuttgart is a weeklong "academy" with master classes, seminars, lecture concerts and special productions dedicated to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach with a focus on his cantatas. The most important event of the IBA itself is the Musikfest Stuttgart, one of Stuttgart’s internationally celebrated music festivals for classical music that takes place every September and inaugurates the new cultural season in Stuttgart.

ENSEMBLES: The Gächinger Kantorei is one of Germany’s most celebrated choirs. Together with artistic director Helmuth Rilling, they have delighted millions of people with their choral music performances. The Bach-Collegium Stuttgart is their instrumental counterpart, who increasingly perform independent of the choir. The Junge Chor of the Bachakademie and Festivalensemble Stuttgart are showcases for young musical talent.

MUSIC OUTREACH: Since the founding of the Bachakademie, outreach has been a primary focus. A wide range of programs designed for both experts and laypeople (Studium generale, seminars, music festival cafés) are offered and are among the most popular cultural events in Stuttgart. A special commitment to young musicians has increasingly become a part of the academy’s mission.

The Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart enjoys the status as a public institution. Its activities are financed in part through its own activities in addition to generous support from the city of Stuttgart and the state of Baden-Württemberg (comprising 25% of the total budget), but primarily through the donations and sponsorship of patrons. More than 1600 members of the IBA are active contributors. The Bachakademie is located at the Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Platz in the western district of Stuttgart. Helmuth Rilling and Christian Lorenz oversee the staff of 20 full-time employees.