Michael Bach (musician)
Michael Bach (b. Worms, April 17, 1958) is a German cellist, composer, and visual artist, also known as Michael Bach Bachtischa.
He studied cello with Gerhard Mantel, Boris Pergamenschikow, Pierre Fournier and Janos Starker, then embarked on a career of international concert activity as well as performances on radio, recordings, and television.
He made numerous significant contributions to the art of contemporary cello performance; his publication Fingerboards & Overtones proposes new ideas concerning overtones and harmonics and is considered a pioneering work in the literature on contemporary technique. In 1990 he developed the Curved Bow (BACH.Bogen) for the cello, violin, and viola, which, in polyphonic playing, permits the simultaneous sounding of multiple strings, with the high arch of the bow allowing for full, sustained chords. During the years 1997 and 2001 Mstislav Rostropovich has been intimately involved in its development. In 2001 he invited Michael Bach for a presentation of his BACH.Bow to Paris (7ème Concours de violoncelle Rostropovitch).
In 2012, during an exhibition on the theme «BACHLAEUFE - The Imprint of Johann Sebastian Bach on Modern Times », held at Arnstadt, Germany, the First Prize was awarded to the BACH.Bow.
Several contemporary composers, among them John Cage, Dieter Schnebel, Walter Zimmermann and Hans Zender, have composed works especially for the BACH.Bow. Bach Bachtischa is also a composer. His purely musical compositions are idiosyncratic and highly personal, described by him as “free from compositional conventions.”
Michael Bach's visual works include Fingerboards (1990–2010), which capture the hand’s choreography on the cello fingerboard as color impressions, Fieldwork (1994), Mit diesen beiden Händen (1994), Lagauche (1995), and Olévano (1995-). The German postage stamp „75 Jahre Donaueschinger Musiktage, Deutschland 1996“ shows his composition and drawing 18-7-92, Scetches to Ryoanji (1992).
Ohne Titel (1992) for Cello and 3 Tapes, First Performance: Donaueschinger Musiktage, Germany 1994
Notation 2 for 15 STRINGS and 5 Players (1992), First Performance: Donaueschinger Musiktage, Germany 1994
Notation 1 and 2 for Voice (1993–94), First Performance: Stuttgart, Germany 1994
55 Sounds (1995) for Cello with Curved Bow, First Performance: Schloss Monrepos, Ludwigsburg, Germany 1995
50 Sounds (1995) for Accordion, First Performance: ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany 2010
+Murbach (2000) für Cello, First Performance: Printemps Rhénan, SWR, France 2000
A-E-G-C (2000) for Microtonal Piano, First Performance: Internationale Musikakademie Schloss Kapfenburg, Germany 2000
Karpfens'bug (2000) for String Players and Singers, First Performance: Internationale Musikakademie Schloss Kapfenburg, Germany 2000
Karpfens'teich (2000) for wind instruments, First Performance: Internationale Musikakademie Schloss Kapfenburg, Germany 2000
NURHAUFFÜGUR 1-7 for Cello with Curved Bow and Live-electronics, First Performance: Donaueschinger Musiktage, Germany 2000
57 Sounds (2001) for Organ, First Performance: Rheinischer Frühling, SWR, Worms, Germany2001
Notation for Chamber Orchestra (2001), First Performance: Rheinischer Frühling, SWR, Worms, Germany 2001
5 Pitches, 13 Notes (2005) for Cello with Curved Bow, First Performance: MANCA Festival Nice, France 2005
18-7-92 (1992/2004) for Cello with Curved Bow and 3 Tapes, First Performance: Other Minds Festival, San Francisco, USA 2008
namen.los (2008) for Clarinet, First Performance: Treffpunkt Rotebühl, Stuttgart, Germany 2008
ONE13 (1992/2006) for Cello with Curved Bow and pre-recorded Media (Co-Author: John Cage), First Performance: Other Minds Festival, San Francisco, USA 2008
versbrechen - ein Fingerboard für Kirchner (2010) for Cello with Curved Bow, First Performance: Galerie Stihl, Waiblingen, Germany 2010
First Performances 
- 1986 SOLO (1966) by Karlheinz Stockhausen with digital delay machines. Michael Bach, Cello and the Experimentalstudio des SWF, Hans-Peter Haller, Freiburg, Germany.
- 1986 Sonata in E-flat Major, opus 64 by Ludwig van Beethoven with Berhard Wambach, piano, Karlsruhe, Germany.
- 1987 Kadenzen (1913) by Arnold Schoenberg for the Cello Concerto in g minor by Matthias Georg Monn with the Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, conductor: Georg Schmöhe, Bonn, Germany.
- 1991 ONE8 and 108 (1991) for Cello with Curved Bow and Orchestra by John Cage, dedicated to Michael Bach and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart (without conductor), Stuttgart, Germany.
- 1992 Mit diesen Händen (1992) for Cello with Curved Bow and Voice by Dieter Schnebel, dedicated to Michael Bach, together with the singer William Pearson on the occasion of the "Heinrich-Böll-Woche" in Cologne, Germany.
- 1993 ONE13 (1992) for Cello with Curved Bow and 3 Tapes, composition by John Cage and Michael Bach Bachtischa, festival musica in Strasbourg, France.
- 1998 TIERKREIS by Karlheinz Stockhausen, version for Cello with Curved Bow by Michael Bach Bachtischa in Bayreuth, Germany.
- 2004 Capriccio 1828 for Violin solo by Niccolò Paganini, version for Cello with Curved Bow by Michael Bach Bachtischa in Worms, Germany.
- 2008 New version of ONE13 (1992/2006) for Cello with Curved Bow and 3 Tapes, composition by John Cage and Michael Bach Bachtischa, in San Francisco, USA and Stuttgart, Germany.
- 2010 versbrechen - ein Fingerboard für Kirchner (2010) for Cello with Curved Bow by Michael Bach Bachtischa, Galerie Stihl Waiblingen, Germany.
Michael Bach, Fingerboards & Overtones, Pictures, Basics and Model for a New Way of Cello Playing, German and English, edition spangenberg, München, Germany 1991, ISBN 3-89409-063-4
Michael Bach, Die Suiten für Violoncello von Johann Sebastian Bach, in: Das Orchester 7-8/1997, Mainz, Germany
Rudolf Gähler: Der Rundbogen für die Violine - ein Phantom?, ConBrio-Fachbuch, Band 5, ConBrio Verlagsgesellschaft Regensburg, Germany 1997, ISBN 3-930079-58-5
MUSICAGE, pages 246-290 and 296, Editor: Joan Retallack, Wesleyan University Press, Hanover, USA 1996, ISBN 0-8195-5285-2
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Centennial Edition, Vol. 1, pages 173/174, Editors: Nicolas Slonimsky and Laura Kuhn, New York, USA 2001
Jeremy Barlow: The Bach Bow, in: Early music today, London, Great Britain 2003
Radio and TV 
"The Cellist Michael Bach", Moderation: Sabine Fallenstein, 60 minutes, SWR Baden-Baden, Germany 1998
"The BACH.Bogen", Moderation: Sabine Fallenstein, 10 minutes, SWR Baden-Baden, Germany 2000
Interview with Michael Bach concerning the „BACH.Bogen", Moderation: Andreas Lindahl, 20 minutes, Sveriges Radio, Sweden 2007
"Daimei No Nei Ongakukai", Moderation: Toshiro Mayuzumi, Michael Bach and the Tokyo City Philharmonic, Naozumi Yamamoto, Shibuya Public Hall, TV Asahi Tokyo, Japan 1990
Donaueschinger Musiktage 1994, Concert on October 14, 1994, SWR TV Baden-Baden, Germany 1994
- Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Centennial Edition, Vol. 1, pages 173/174
- http://www.zeit.de/1991/50/der-zwang-zur-freiheit?page=2 "Der Wert dieser Pionierarbeit für Komponisten und Interpreten ist nicht hoch genug einzuschätzen." Die Zeit (1991)
- http://bach.bogen.pagespro-orange.fr/html/mstislav_rostropovich.htm Cooperation with Mstislav Rostropovich (1997-2001)
- http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/bachbogen/bachbogen.htm Presentation of the BACH.Bogen in Paris (2001)
- http://bach.bogen.pagespro-orange.fr/html/sound_installations.html String Installations
- http://bach.bogen.pagespro-orange.fr/html/ryoanji-cello.htm German postage stamp „75 Jahre Donaueschinger Musiktage, Deutschland“ (1996)