The Bachcelona Festival is been awarded with the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona de Música 2021 on account of the significance of its programme and performers; on account of its range of audiences, venues and formats; and on account of its ability to strengthen affinities with various stakeholders from the cultural and social ecosystem of Barcelona.

El País – Xavier Pujol 27/07/2015

Set to be held with loads of fresh imagination, originality and bold programming, and taking full advantage of available resources, the third Bach Festival of Barcelona will be filling the city with the great composer’s music.

The Festival’s history

Bachcelona is a festival with an unwavering commitment to quality. Over the course of its history, it has hosted the foremost international artists specialised in Bach, including – in addition to Ton Koopman – such prominent figures as Tini Mathot and Juan de la Rubia (2014), Catherine Manson, Werner Matzke and Sebastian Küchler-Blessing (2015), Klaus Mertens, John Crockatt and Philippe Thuriot (2016), Stephan Macleod, Leila Schayegh and Bertrand Cuiller (2017), Shunske Sato, Michel Brun and Clara Pouvreau (2018), and Václav Luks, Sabine Bauer and Petra Müllejans (2019).

Innovation is another of the Festival’s characteristic traits. In all the activities that we host within the framework of Bachcelona, we seek to reach beyond the concert format. We always foster artistic interaction with other disciplines such as theatre (featuring La Fura dels Baus in the 2016 event, with great public and critical success), contemporary dance (with Lorena Nogal in 2017), cinema (through our yearly film cycle, which we have been holding at the Filmoteca, Barcelona’s cinematheque, since 2015), and visual arts (with the display of the complete set of prints by Eduardo Chillida entitled “Hommage à Johann Sebastian Bach”, in 2014).

Likewise, at Bachcelona we present proposals of musical fusion with other styles such as jazz (Llibert Fortuny, Manel Camp and Mireia Farrés, 2013), African percussion (Virginie Robilliard and Thomas Gueï, 2016), Cuban music (the Roberto Fonseca Trio and its Cubach concert in 2017), or the Brazilian tradition (Sambach project, 2019).

We also strive to heighten the Festival experience with the concerts and participatory activities of the BZM project, which have been held at the Palau de la Música (in the Petit Palau building), and with recreational activities like Balla Bach (Dance Bach) at the Plaça del Rei or Swing Bach at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site.

Other important goals of the Bachcelona Festival are the dissemination of music through the organisation of conferences, round tables and guided tours (such as those of the Music Museum with Joan Vives), and family activities aimed to acquaint children with classical music (including those held by Ton Koopman, a highly respected Dutch musician, in five consecutive festivals).

And last but not least, at Bachcelona we support young talent through grants awarded to singers (the Salvat Bach Grant, sponsored by Laboratorios Salvat, allows four vocal soloists to take part in Bachcelona’s Opening Concert each year); the Bachcelona Special Prize (to let the winners of the Young Musicians of Spain Antique Music Contest participate in the following year’s Festival); and masterclasses held by different well-known musicians.