Oxford Bach Soloists
The Oxford Bach Soloists (OBS) is a Baroque ensemble whose ambition is to perform, in sequence, the complete canon of J. S. Bach’s vocal works over 12 years. Founded by Tom Hammond-Davies (Artistic Director) in 2015, OBS offers a unique musical experience that converges composer, performer, and audience.
The OBS mission is distinctive and pioneering: while there have been many recordings and performances of the complete vocal works of J. S. Bach, no ensemble has ever mounted a cycle of performances in chronological order, programmed in real-time, and in the context for which they were conceived. OBS has set out to perform Bach’s works as he himself would have realised them with performers, instruments, and venues that echo the university and churches of Bach’s hometown of Leipzig.
Bach’s music is community music. He was famously networked amongst an extended family of musicians in northern Germany. Today, OBS champions our local students, scholars, players, soloists, and amateurs in performances that mirror the diversity of our community.
OBS is creating long-term sustainable relationships with state-supported schools to improve numeracy and literacy skills. With the help of our regular interventions, we empower educators to use music as a transformative teaching tool.
Furthermore, OBS provides the next generation of young aspiring singers with the opportunity to develop their solo singing within the musical programme of the Oxford Bach Soloists. Funded by the generosity of our donors and foundations, 12 competitively appointed Choral Scholars develop their skills by taking on step-out solos during our concerts, and receive professional German language coaching. They transfer their learning experience to the rest of the chorus by making up its core and contribution to its musical integrity.
As a laboratory for current research, OBS draws from a number of world experts in Oxford, including specialists from the Faculties of Music, Theology, History, and Modern Languages. Our historically informed musicianship allows for a lively interplay between committed performance and an immersive experience for the audience.