Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents Vox Luminis in a program of music by the Bach family – Saturday, November 2 in Cambridge

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Vox Luminis (Belgium)
Lionel Meunier, director
WHEN:Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

The Bach Dynasty: Motets of the Bach Family

Johann Bach: Unser Leben int ein Schatten
Johann Bach: Sei nun wieder zufrieden
Johann Michael Bach: Sei lieber Tag wilkommen
Johann Michael Bach: Nun treten wir ins neue Jahr
Johann Michael Bach: Herr, ich warte auf dein Heil
Johann Christoph Bach: Der mensch vom Weibe geboren
Johann Christoph Bach: Lieber Herr Got, wecke uns auf
Johann Christoph Bach: Fürchte dich nicht
Johann Ludwig Bach: Das Blut Jesu Christi
Johann Ludwig Bach: Das ist meine Freude
Johann Sebastian Bach: Jesu meine Freude

TICKETS:Tickets are priced at $20, $39, $51, and $70 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is available by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2019-2020 Season.

Trace the emergence of the gifted Bach clan through the generations, including gorgeous and evocative motets by the family’s first professional musician, Johann Bach, the brothers from Arnstadt Johann Michael and Johann Christoph, Johann Sebastian’s revered third cousin, Johann Ludwig, and finally Johann Sebastian Bach’s own motet, Jesu meine Freude. These works, most of which are written for double choir, blend the traditions inherited from Renaissance polyphony with expressive ideas inspired by the madrigal. Johann Sebastian drew heavily on family tradition when tackling this genre, and was a master of a style that was already seen as old fashioned. The proximity between his compositions and those of his ancestors is astounding, and it is not without reason that certain works are attributed sometimes to Johann Sebastian and sometimes to his uncle Johann Christoph.

Beyond the historical considerations, these motets are filled with touching, humble, and profound emotion that the singers and continuo players of Belgium’s Vox Luminis carry to an exceptional level. Led by bass and director Lionel Meunier, this Gramophone Award–winning ensemble is in demand across Europe and around the world for their illuminating performances of the music of the Bach family, winning international acclaim for performances balancing pristine unity and seductive charm.

There will be a pre-concert talk at 7pm by Vox Luminis director Lionel Meunier.

Vox Luminis is a Belgian early music ensemble created in 2004 by its Artistic Director Lionel Meunier. They have one project: to introduce today’s audiences to early vocal music, passionately convey its quintessence and touch the light through the voice. Today, the ensemble performs over 60 concerts a year, appearing on stages in Belgium, across Europe and around the world. The size and composition of the group depends on the repertoire being performed but the core of soloists, mostly from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, is joined by a continuo and additional instrumental performers. Its repertoire is essentially Italian, English, and German, and spans from the 16th to the 18th century. Since its inception, the ensemble has been defined by its unity, and seduces as much through the personality of each tone quality as it does through the color and the uniformity of the voices.

Lionel Meunier has achieved international renown as a conductor and artistic director of the Vox Luminis ensemble, which he founded in 2004. Being passionate about music from a very young age, he started his musical education in his city of birth, Clamecy (France), with the trumpet, recorder, and solfège. Lionel then continued his studies at Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur and at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. He is also in great demand by many ensembles throughout Europe as coach, conductor and artistic leader. Additionally, he is a jury member for many international festivals and competitions. Along with Vox Luminis, he regularly offers masterclasses, coaching sessions and conferences on repertoire from the end of the Renaissance to the Baroque.

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BEMF’s 2019–2020 Season Press Release:

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 21st Boston Early Music Festival – themed A Celebration of Women in the Arts – will take place from June 6–13, 2021, and feature the fully staged North American premiere of Henry Demarest’s Circé. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The 2019-2020 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, and WGBH Radio Boston, as well as a number of generous foundations and individuals from around the world.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email