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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.


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 when, as organist of St Peter's Church, Dulwich, he wished to develop an orchestra to follow through his conviction that performances of Bach cantatas by large choral societies could not achieve the right level of clarity or balance with the Baroque instruments that Bach would have used.

He then embarked on a lifelong project to perform all Bach's sacred cantatas, a mission which he completed in 1987.

To help him in this magnum opus, the DBCC was in essence a satellite organisation to support him, and many of the musicians close to him in gaining the added experience and expertise necessary to deliver a high quality orchestral and choral performance in his London concerts. 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. His other commitments left the door open for a number of guest conductors to share with choir of the day their experience of this highly regarded music. Among those who directed our study weekends were Stephen Wilkinson, Peter Lea Cox, Stephen Cleobury, Mark Forkgen and Elizabeth Bates.

After Paul Steinitz died in 1989 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.

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