American Bach Soloists perform all Four of Bach’s Orchestral Suites for the first time on one program

April 12, 2018 - San Francisco, CA. Music Director Jeffrey Thomas will lead the American Bach Soloists in performances of all four of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suites (BWV 1066-1069) May 11-14 in Belvedere, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Davis. The works presented in these concerts are full of exuberant sonority and captivating melody and display the virtuosity of ABS’s famous roster of “the best American specialists in early Music” ( The Washington Post ). These extremely popular pieces are intensely infused with the spirit of dance, expressing joy and felicity.
Bach’s suites celebrate not only courtly dance, but also the phenomenal technical abilities of his musicians. Bach titled them “Ouvertures” referring to the grand movement that opens the work, followed by a collection of dances, all requiring the most virtuoso instrumentalists. Joining Maestro Thomas and American Bach Soloists are some ABS favorites: Debra Nagy (oboe), Dominic Teresi (bassoon), Sandra Miller (flute), and John Thiessen (trumpet). 
Debra Nagy • Dominic Teresi • Sandra Miller • John Thiessen
Two of the orchestral suites are scored for contrasting forces: The first employs a trio of soloists (two oboes and bassoon) supported by strings and continuo, and the second features a solo flutist accompanied by strings and continuo. The third and fourth suites are a hundred times more grand, each utilizing trumpets, timpani, oboes, bassoon, and a full compliment of strings. True to form, each work begins with a “French Overture,” which combines a slow opening—marked by stately dotted rhythms and suspensions—with a lively fugal second section. The sheer grandiosity of these introductory movements is magnificent, and almost overwhelming. But what is most miraculous is Bach’s ability to utilize the full ensembles in the ensuing movements. Whether a Bourrée, Gavotte, Menuet, or Gigue, each dance appears light, graceful, and ebullient. The third orchestral suite contains one of the most popular works among Bach’s compositions, one that has become known as the “Air for the G string.”

This program will be recorded immediately after these concerts for release in Fall 2018.
“The dotted rhythms of the “Ouverture” came off with a jaunty elegance … sparkled with a variety as it charmed and beguiled from beginning to end.”
-Steven Winn  San Francisco Classical Voice

Friday May 11 2018 at 8:00 pm
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
3 Bay View Avenue, Belvedere, CA 94920

Saturday May 12 2018 at 8:00 pm
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Sunday May 13 2018 at 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Monday May 14 2018 at 7:00 pm
Davis Community Church
412 C Street, Davis, CA 95616

$10 student tickets for ages 25 and under with valid student ID,
at the door or reserve at 415-621-7900 

Phone: 800-595-4TIX (-4849)

Renowned for his experience, knowledge and sensitivity for the music of the Baroque, Jeffrey Thomas’s preparation of the major works of the repertory such as Bach’s Mass in B Minor,  St. Matthew Passion , and Handel’s  Messiah  have led to inspired, definitive performances that have become synonymous with the ensemble he has led with such distinction.  San Francisco Classical Voice  said, “Jeffrey Thomas is still pushing the musical Baroque envelope.” [ MORE ]
American Bach Soloists are leading performers in the field of Baroque music, dedicated to historically informed performances of Bach and his contemporaries. ABS provides meaningful, memorable, and valuable musical experiences for our audiences through inspiring performances and recordings, and it supports the preservation of early music through educational programs for students and emerging professionals. [ MORE ]
Additional Press Resources:
Jonathon Hampton
Communications Manager
415-621-7900 ext. 207
American Bach Soloists
44 Page Street, Suite 403
San Francisco, CA, 94102
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