Highlights include Handel’s complete Messiah, Bach’s beloved “Coffee Cantata,” and an inaugural Violin Concerto Competition

DENVER, Colo., [Sept. 21, 2018] – 
Colorado Bach Ensemble launches its seventh season of exploring and interpreting the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble continues to create a new conversation around the distinctive yet varied musical style of Bach. This season is highlighted by a performance of Handel’s Messiah in its entirety and Bach’s beloved “Coffee Cantata.” Additionally, the ensemble continues its exploration of Bach’s cantatas with performances of cantatas #1, #66, #70 and #180 as part of its Cantata Insights Series.

In addition to this well rounded season, Colorado Bach Ensemble is excited to announce their inaugural Violin Concerto Competition, an opportunity for high school musicians to showcase their individual talents.

Concert Tickets:
Cantata Insights Series: $10 general admission; Messiah and Four Masterworks: $10 students, $35 adult. Tickets purchased at the door will include an additional $5 fee. All tickets are general admission. For more information, call 303.758.2820, visit coloradobach.org or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

About Colorado Bach Ensemble:
Colorado Bach Ensemble is a group of professional musicians dedicated to performing and promoting the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries with a special focus on Bach’s vocal masterpieces.

Under the guidance of its founding artistic director James Kim, Colorado Bach Ensemble’s mission is to study and perform Bach’s music in the spirit and with the grace of the Baroque style, to grow the audience for Bach’s music through concerts, recording and tours and to cultivate a deep appreciation for one of the most prolific composers in history.

The ensemble has earned rave reviews for their ability to provide a rare glimpse inside the mind of Bach during their performances. The musicians, all professional, work in tandem to elevate the music of Bach to audiences around the world.

Key Quote:
“We are thrilled to continue our journey in our upcoming seventh season with multiple cantatas, both sacred and secular, Messiah, and instrumental chamber music featuring the winner of our first-ever Violin Concerto Competition for high-school students.”  — James Kim, Artistic Director, Colorado Bach Ensemble

Additional Resources:

Full Season Schedule:


BWV 180: Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele
(Beloved soul, adorn yourself)

Friday, October 12, 2018, at 6 pm | St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fort Collins
Sunday, October 14, 2018, at 6 pm | Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village

This beautiful chorale-cantata was part of Bach’s 1724 annual cycle. It features Johann Frank’s chorale melody of the same title. With the libretto from the Gospel of Matthew 22:1-14, the emphasis is on the sacrament of Holy Communion: “the Parable of the Great Banquet.” Considering the intimate nature of this pastoral work, Colorado Bach Ensemble’s interpretation will present four vocal soloists and one instrumentalist per part. Interesting to note, the orchestra will include a violoncello piccolo, commonly used in the first part of the 18th century.

Clara Rottsolk, soprano
Rebecca Robinson, mezzo-soprano
John Pierce, tenor
Aaron Harp, bass


BWV 70: Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet!
(Watch! Pray! Pray! Watch!)

Sunday, November 11, 2018, at 6:00 pm  | Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village

With a rousing festive opening chorus, this Advent cantata originally dates from 1714, when Bach was at Weimar. However, later in Leipzig, Advent was considered a quiet time between the second Sunday through the fourth Sunday of Advent, hence Bach didn’t compose many cantatas for that Liturgical Season. This unique Advent cantata was reworked for a different Liturgical setting and performed twice in Leipzig (1723 and 1731). In this work, Bach juxtaposes joy and somber yearning, anticipating the final judgment.

Handel for the Holidays: The Complete Messiah

Saturday, December 15, 2018, at 4 pm | Griffin Concert Hall, Fort Collins
Sunday, December 16, 2018, at 4 pm | Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village

Quite likely the most beloved choral work of all time, this oratorio, Messiah, has been performed annually since its premiere in Dublin in 1742. Presented in its entirety, Colorado Bach Ensemble allows the listener to appreciate the grand scope of the rarely performed complete three parts: The World in Waiting and Prophesy; Life and Passion; Redemption and Heavenly Glorification (text from Charles Jennens, King James Bible, and Book of Common Prayer). With Colorado Bach Ensemble’s presentation of the complete three parts, audiences of all faiths will find this magnificent work inspiring and exhilarating.

Awet Andemicael, soprano
Anna Englander, mezzo-soprano
Dann Coakwell, tenor
Andrew Garland, bass-baritone


BWV 1: Wie Schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
(How brightly shines the Morningstar)

Sunday, March 24, 2019, at 6 pm | Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village

Written during Bach’s second Liturgical Year in Leipzig and first performed in 1725, this chorale-cantata opens with a grand and joyful Chorus-Fantasia. According to the norms of the Lenten Season, the Feast of Annunciation was the only occasion when festive music was permitted. While this work was not Bach’s “Opus Primus”, it was chosen by the Bach Gesellschaft to open the first publication of Bach’s complete works, a century after his death: BWV 1.


BWV 66:  Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen
(Rejoice, All Ye Hearts)

Sunday, April 28, 2019, at 6 pm | Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village

With its origins as a birthday celebration for Prince Leopold in 1718, this cantata was first performed on Easter in 1724. With a lively and lilting opening movement, the galloping rhythm propels through myriad emotions. The final Chorus/Chorale is derived from the traditional Latin Easter Sequence Chant “Victimae Paschali Laudes”, ending the cantata with the Greek ”Kyrie eleis.”

Four Masterworks: Exploring Bach’s Range

Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 7:30 pm | Hampden Hall at Englewood Civic Center
Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 4 pm | Organ Recital Hall, UCA, Fort Collins

BWV 211  Schweigt stille, plandert nich (Be quiet, do not chatter) “Coffee Cantata”
BWV 202 Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (Away, sorrowful shadows) “Wedding Cantata”
BWV 1048 Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G MajorBach Violin Concerto

Remaining true to his “Soli Deo Gloria” (To the Glory of God Alone), Bach’s works were never referred to as operas. His cantatas are un-staged dramatic works based on liturgical and biblical texts. The charming “Coffee Cantata” is an exception, with modest staging and a secular theme, this cantata stands out as a miniature comic opera. Colorado Bach Ensemble will present the work as a concert-version with modest staging.

Don’t let the plaintive beginning of the “Wedding Cantata” mislead you. It’s Bach’s way of representing the melting of snows, until the cheerful arrival of spring (and blossoming love), with all its exuberance. Written for solo soprano, it was most likely composed for his own wedding to Anna Magdalena in 1721.

Most scholars agree that the six Brandenberg Concertos were composed over several years while Bach was at Köthen. In 1721 Bach grouped the Concertos as a collection and presented them to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenberg-Schwedt, hoping that the Margrave would hire him.

Of the six concertos, #3 in G Major (written for strings and continuo) is probably the most popular. While the effervescent first and sweeping third movements are in Ritornello form, Bach provided only two chords for the second movement: implying it would be an extended improvised cadenza.

Courtney Huffman, soprano
Steven Soph, tenor
Thomas Erik Angerhofer, baritone


Violin Concerto Competition

Colorado Bach Ensemble’s inaugural Violin Concerto Competition is an opportunity for high school musicians to showcase their individual talents.
Contestants prepare a memorized solo concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach, participate in a live audition with piano accompaniment for a panel of judges, and receive written educational feedback about their audition.

The winner will be a featured soloist on his or her chosen concerto and two runners-up will be selected to play as ensemble members for Coffee Cantata, BWV 211 in May 2019. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and the two runners-up will be awarded $500 each.

Key Dates

  • Applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 14, 2018
  • Auditions will take place Saturday, January 19, 2019, at Bethany Lutheran Church

For more information and to apply, visit www.coloradobach.org/concerto-competition


Contact Information:
Colorado Bach Ensemble
James Kim, Founder/Artistic Director
Phone: 970-219-8258
Email: cobachensemble@gmail.com