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"

Mass in B Minor tickets

Chicago Bach 

Project 2015
Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra

The Chicago Bach Project, hailed by the Chicago Tribune as one of “the highlights of the classical music season,” returns on MARCH 11, 2016, for its sixth annual presentation of Bach’s sacred choral-orchestral masterworks. The 2016 concert features Bach’s great Mass in B Minor, considered by many the greatest composition in Western classical music.

Friday, March 11, 2016 - 7:30 p.m.
J. S. Bach: Mass in B Minor
Delta David Gier, conductor
Chicago Bach Choir and Orchestra
Harris Theater for Music and Dance
205 E Randolph Dr
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Click to purchase tickets



IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The SDG Music Foundation and the Chicago Bach Project regret to announce that, due to illness, Maestro John Nelson is unable to direct the March 11th performance. The Mass in B Minor will be conducted by Delta David Gier, the Chicago Bach Project Assistant Conductor and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony.


Bach's monumental Mass in B Minor was one of his final achievements and stands as arguably his finest work. Though completed in 1749, the world did not hear a performance of the complete work until 1859 - over 100 years later! The sublime music of the Mass in B Minor transcends liturgical boundaries, and it has become a sacred classic, full of spiritual fervor and contemplation. Glorifying voice and instruments with brilliant harmonies and depth of tone, this choral masterwork has been called a "cathedral in sound."

Media accolades have been heaped on previous Chicago Bach performances: "powerful" (Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts), "profound" (Chicago on the Aisle), "thrilling" (Chicago Sun Times), "inspired" (Chicago Classical Review), and "one of the best" (Chicago Tribune). This year's cast of internationally renowned soloists brings a new roster to the Chicago Bach Project, and the one-night-only concert promises to deliver a fresh interpretation of this sacred magnum opus.


Delta David Gier  

Delta David Gier, Conductor

Delta David Gier has been called a dynamic voice on the American music scene, recognized widely for his penetrating interpretations of the standard symphonic repertoire and passionate commitment to new music. Since 2004, Mr. Gier has been music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. During that period the orchestra has been lauded for its programming (including seven ASCAP awards). Gier has also conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. In Europe, his engagements include the Bergen Philharmonic (Norway), the Polish National Radio Symphony, and the Bucharest Philharmonic, along with orchestras in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. In the Americas, he has conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica and the Orquesta de Camera de Bellas Artes in Mexico. In Asia, Mr. Gier’s engagements have included the Singapore Symphony and the Thailand Philharmonic. Last season he conducted the American Composers Orchestra in the inaugural concert of the China-U.S Composers Project. Mr. Gier has also chaired the music jury of the Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent panelist for the League of American Orchestras.


Kathryn Lewek  

Kathryn Lewek, Soprano

A double prize winner at the 2013 Operalia World Opera Competition, Kathryn Lewek is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most promising coloratura sopranos of this generation. She made her Metropolitan Opera début in 2013 singing the role of Queen of the Night in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. Of her Carnegie Hall début in Handel's Messiah, The New York Times hailed her “communicative verve and thrilling beauty." Widely lauded for her operatic and oratorio performances, Ms. Lewek has sung numerous performances of Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Brahms’ Requiem, Haydn's Creation and Mozart’s Requiem under John Nelson (the latter at Carnegie Hall), Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor.


Margaret Lattimore  

Margaret Lattimore, Mezzo-Soprano

Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Margaret Lattimore has been praised by the Boston Globe for "her “glorious instrument” and has called her an “undisputed star." Ms. Lattimore has sung numerous roles at The Met, New York City Opera, Washington Opera, Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Netherlands Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Central City Opera, San Diego Opera and Austin Lyric Opera. Her recent concert engagements include Handel's Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Verdi's Requiem with the Houston Symphony, The Spoleto Festival, The Winter Park Bach Festival, and The New Choral Society as well as, Rossini's Stabat Mater and Mozart's Requiem with the Riverside Choral Society, and Mozart's Mass in C minor in Eugene, Oregon.


John McVeigh  

John McVeigh, Tenor

Lauded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune for his “rich lyrical tenor, fabulous top notes,” Mr. McVeigh is in high demand as a concert artist. He made his début at the Metropolitan Opera and has added multiple performances with the New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Recent engagements include Haydn’s Creation with the Portland Symphony; Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the St. Catherine of Siena Concert Series; Händel’s Messiah with Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Boston Baroque, Winston Salem Symphony, and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under the baton of Jaap van Zweden with the Dallas Symphony; and Bach’s St. John Passion with the Winston-Salem Symphony.


Daniel Okulitch  

Daniel Okulitch, Bass-Baritone

Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch is established as a leading singer and dramatic interpreter in a wide variety of repertoire. In opera, Mr. Okulitch has garnered acclaim in major baritone roles of Mozart, most notably Don Giovanni and Figaro, which he has performed with the the New York City Opera. He has sung Mozart roles in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Warsaw, Vancouver, Dallas, Portland, and Detroit, as well as contemporary operatic roles (including singing with the Santa Fe Opera under John Nelson). His performance of classic masterworks includes Haydn's Creation with the Vancouver Bach Chorale, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Indianapolis Symphony, and in the summer of 2015, Haydn's Harmony Mass with the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.



Harris Theater 

Harris Theater for Music and Dance
205 East Randolph Drive, Chicago, IL 60601