Dorset Bach Cantata Club

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The Dorset Bach Cantata Club is a chamber choir and orchestra based in Sturminster Newton, England. It is devoted to performing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) with an amateur choir supported by a semi-professional orchestra.

History[edit]

The Dorset Bach Cantata Club (DBCC) was founded in 1955 by Joan Brocklebank and Dr Paul Steinitz. The origin of the Club was linked to that of The London Bach Society.

Nine years previously, Paul Steinitz had founded the London Bach Society. He believed that the then customary performances of Bach cantatas by large choral societies did not have the balance between choir and baroque orchestra such as Bach would have experienced. He set out to perform all Bach's sacred cantatas, a mission which he completed in 1987.

To help him with this, the DBCC was in essence an organisation to support him and the musicians he worked with to gain the added experience and expertise to realise hitherto unperformed masterworks.

The DBCC singers, being amateurs, would have given him some added insight in helping choral singers manage the many challenges provided by Bach's vocal music.

Dr Steinitz directed all the DBCC's studies and performances until 1968, returning again on several occasions in the 1970s, and finally in 1985. Other guest conductors then were engaged to express their vision of chosen cantatas. Among those who directed the music were Stephen Wilkinson, Peter Lea Cox, Stephen Cleobury, Mark Forkgen and Elizabeth Bates. After Paul Steinitz died in 1988 the direction of the DBCC was placed in the hands of Timothy Brown, Director of Clare College Choir, and Christopher Brown, Director of New Cambridge Singers, who had been associated with the Club since its earliest days.

In 2009, the group set up plans to commemorate Paul Steinitz' centenary year at its October meeting.

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