Bach at the Sem, presented by Concordia Seminary and the American Kantorei, enters its 21st season with a full schedule of Sunday concerts: Oct. 20, Dec. 1, Feb. 16, and April 6. All concerts are at 3:00 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the campus of Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Mo. A free will offering is taken at each concert.
The Oct. 20 concert offers two cantatas of J. S. Bach: a Reformation cantata, Gott der Herr ist Sonn’ und Schild, BWV 79, and Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, which contains the beloved chorale, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” The concert features guest conductor, Bálint Karosi, also as organist, playing the great Reger chorale fantasy on Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott, op. 27
Hungarian composer and organist, Bálint Karosi (www.karosi.org) is currently Minister of Music at First Lutheran Church of Boston, where he has directed an active music program since 2007. First-prize winner of the 2008 International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany, amongst other competitions, Mr. Karosi has performed in many of the United States and in Europe, playing a variety of instruments and repertoire. His current projects include a recording of Bach’s Clavier-übung III for the Hungaroton (Naxos) label. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Mr. Karosi is a candidate for the MMA in composition at the Yale School of Music and is also preparing a doctoral thesis on baroque improvisation techniques.
The American Kantorei, the performing group of Bach at the Sem, was founded in 1969 by its first musical director, the Rev. Robert Bergt, a member of the Concordia Seminary faculty. Following a hiatus of some 20 years, the Kantorei was resurrected in 1993 at the behest of its major sponsors and founders of Bach at the Sem, Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg and Robert and (the late) Lori Duesenberg. It has since presented to the communities of Concordia Seminary and St. Louis at large nearly 100 concerts of the music of premier Lutheran composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as music of Schütz, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn and other Lutheran composers.
In this period of guest conductors, following the death of Maestro Bergt in 2011, the chorus is prepared for each concert by interim music director, Dr. Jeral Becker, director of choral and vocal activities at Saint Louis University.