Mass in B Minor program book

To view the program, with the complete text and translation, click here.


Two special Chicago Bach Project pre-concert events, which took place at PianoForte Studios' beautiful new recital hall, are available on YouTube for viewing.

“The Mass as a Musical Form:
History and Debate”
Panel Discussion

Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity, University of Chicago Divinity School
Jesse Rosenberg, Clinical Associate Professor, Musicology, Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University
Mark Peters, Professor of Music and Music Department Chair, Trinity Christian College
Johann S. Buis, Associate Professor of Musicology, Wheaton College Conservatory of Music

CLICK TO VIEW: "The Mass as a Musical Form"


“A Bach Briefing:
Performer's Perspective”

Johann S. Buis, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Guest Lecturer, Associate Professor of Musicology, Wheaton College Conservatory of Music
Markus Rathey (via SKYPE), Associate Professor of Music History, Yale University; Vice-President of the American Bach Society; author of Bach's Major Vocal Works

CLICK TO VIEW: "A Bach Briefing"

Chicago Bach Project 2016: Mass in B Minor

Chicago Bach Project 2016

Chicago Bach Project 2016 Mass in B Minor



Johann Sebastian Bach

Mass in B Minor, BWV 232

March 11, 2016

The 2016 Chicago Bach Project presentation of the monumental Mass in B Minor on Friday evening, March 11, 2016, was filled with drama on many levels. At the last moment, we regretfully had to announce that Maestro John Nelson was unable to direct the concert, due to illness. Fortunately, Delta David Gier, Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony and Assistant Conductor for the Chicago Bach Project, was able to step in beautifully on short notice.


 The headline of the Chicago Tribune review said it all:

"Bach's B Minor Mass soars"


Gier is an experienced choral and orchestral conductor who clearly knows his way around this grand summation of Bach's achievement in the realm of Baroque Lutheran sacred music...Gier's deployment of smaller groups of singers within the larger choral body...allowed for contrasts in texture and balance that were integrated into the musical flow and did much to heighten the expressive effect of Bach's spiritual drama."
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Delta David Gier
Delta David Gier conducts
the Mass in B Minor

As Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Delta David Gier is known for his programming of new music (including seven ASCAP awards), and he has chaired the music jury of the Pulitzer Prize. He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic for fifteen seasons and was a Fulbright scholar in Eastern Europe. He has often worked with John Nelson, and he capably brought Maestro Nelson's vision for this great work to fruition.


This year's all-new team of vocal soloists, the 32-voice Chicago Bach Choir prepared by Donald Nally, and the Chicago Bach Orchestra of 28 seasoned instrumentalists joined with Gier to deliver a fresh interpretation of what many consider the greatest composition in Western classical music.




Kathryn Lewek   Margaret Lattimore   John McVeigh   Daniel Okulitch
Kathryn Lewek
  Margaret Lattimore
  John McVeigh
  Daniel Okulitch


Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra
Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra


Completing the Bach Project's second cycle of the great trilogy, the B minor Mass provided a satisfying, often moving, musical and spiritual experience."
—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


Donald Nally
Donald Nally conducting
Laudate U.S. premiere

The concert opened with the U.S. premiere of Welsh composer John Metcalf's Laudate (Psalm 150), sung by the Chicago Bach Choir under the direction of Donald Nally. This contemporary a cappella choral work was commissioned by SDG for its ongoing Psalms Project. Of the fifteen Psalms Project compositions, Laudate is the only one set to a Latin text, so it was a fitting partner for the Mass in B Minor, which is Bach’s only musical setting of the Latin Ordinary.








The choir’s performance was simply superb. Each harmony was fastidiously tuned, and their wide dynamic range lent dramatic power to the piece."
—John Y. Lawrence, Chicago Classical Review


Harris Theater for Music and Dance
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Chicago, IL 60601

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