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Vereinigung der Freunde des Bach-Archivs Leipzig e.V.
c/o Bach-Archiv Leipzig
Postfach 101349
D-04013 Leipzig
Phone: +49-(0)341-96278920
E-Mail: freunde(at)

Opening time of the office
Haus der Kirche
Burgstr. 1-5, 2nd floor, Room 217
D-04109 Leipzig
Tuesday & Thursday 10am-3pm

Funded projects since 2006

Once a year at its June AGM, the Association decides on which projects funding will be concentrated. Since 2006, the following projects have been completed with the support of the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive.

The Bach Archive extends its warmest thanks for the support received!

Georg Christian Kilian, Pauliner Collegium in Leipzig. Tinted copperplate engraving, ca 1750
Extract from “By an anonymous author The State of the Principality of Eisenach…”
Quantz, Johann Joachim: “Essay on a Method of Playing the Flute Traversiere”
Copy of Berlinische Nachrichten dated May 16, 1747
Harpsichord of Italian design
Bust of Bach, made with the original plaster cast by sculptor Hermann Knaur (1843)
“New Songs and Their Melodies” by Johann Friedrich Doles, Leipzig 1750
Ernst Ludwig Gerber, “Historical and Biographical Encyclopaedia for Composers”
Scheffler, Joachim Ernst: View of Leipzig from the South-east and Six views of Buildings
Project weeks, animated film workshops and exhibition projects in schools and clubs


Since January 2015 the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive have been sponsoring the Bach Museum with two “mini-jobs” in the museum’s Educational department. The Bach Museum attaches special importance to cultural education. It has a broad-ranging programme and is aimed at all kinds and all ages of visitor groups, from kindergarten children to tourists. Working with children and teenagers and accessibility for the disabled are two particular priorities. The most durable projects are those in which children and teenagers engage over a longer period of time with a creative activity in relation to Johann Sebastian Bach and his life and work, such as project weeks, animated film workshops or exhibition projects. The work of Ulrike Bobe and Lu Wollny is a valuable bonus for the Bach Museum.

Educational assistant Ulrike Bobe at work


Staging exhibitions is one of the keys tasks of any museum. In 2014 the Friends helped the Bach Museum fund the following two special exhibitions:

“Die Musik muss das Herz rühren”(“Music must touch the heart”). On the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Special exhibition from March 7 to July 20, 2014

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was born on March 8, 1714. On the 300th anniversary of his birth, the Bach Museum devoted a special exhibition to Johann Sebastian’s second-eldest son. The exhibition spanned the entire life and work of C.P.E. Bach, from his early years in Leipzig and Frankfurt an der Oder through nearly three decades of unbroken work as a harpsichordist with the court orchestra of Frederick the Great to the final post he occupied, that of music director in Hamburg. Besides keyboard music, songs and concertos, Bach also composed oratorios and published educational works for keyboard pupils. On display were exhibits from all the stages of his life, from an exercise book from St. Thomas’s School to compositions and works of music teaching by him, right through to his autobiography and the correspondence he maintained with well-known artists, poets and theologians. The exhibition was funded by the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive and the Packard Humanities Institute, Los Altos, California.

Mit Studiosi musiciret. Bach and Leipzig University

Special exhibition from September 26, 2014, to February 15, 2015

The autumn exhibition in the Bach Museum focused on an important area of Bach’s work during his Leipzig period: his multifaceted work in relation to the university. Throughout his time as cantor of St. Thomas’s, Bach also undertook musical duties for the university. The exhibition shed light on his obligations as church music director at the Paulinerkirche as well as on the commissioned works he composed for members of the university. He performed dramatic funeral music and opulent outdoor works, either for the anniversaries of professors or visitors of the elector’s family. Moreover, Bach and his student orchestra delighted numerous visitors to Zimmerman’s café with demanding but also entertaining and amusing programmes. The exhibition was funded by the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive and the Packard Humanities Institute, Los Altos, California.


At its AGM on June 16, 2013, the General Meeting decided to fund the following projects during the year in progress:

Research and Library
Proposed project: Funding for research projects (€7,700)

Design and execution of exhibitions (€8,000)
Audio guide (€10,000)

Summer Hall
Concert organization (€2,300)


At its AGM on June 20, 2012, the General Meeting decided to fund the following projects during the year in progress:

Research and Library
Proposed project: Funding for research projects (€8,100)

Design and execution of exhibitions (€4,000)
Provision for the audio guide (€10,000)

Summer Hall
Concert organization (€4,000)


At its AGM on June 16, 2011, the General Meeting decided to fund the following projects during the year in progress:

Research and Library
Proposed project: Purchase of rare books / Funding for research projects (€8,100)

Proposed project: Special exhibition for children and teenagers with animations by Andre Martini (€4,000)
Provision for audio guide (2010): €10,000  

Summer Room
Proposed project: “Musik aus der Himmelsburg” (“Music from the Gods”) concert series (€4,000)

Total funding: €16,100 (not incl. provisions)


A larger project sponsored by a decision of the General Meeting in 2010 was the museum’s audio guide. Firstly, the audio guide gives museum visitors a detailed guided tour of the exhibition, providing numerous in-depth explanations of panels and exhibits. In addition, it enables many more languages to be offered, reinforcing the museum's international thrust. The sum of €10,000 was reserved and the work on developing the audio guide is scheduled for 2011.

The Friends of Bach sponsored its first concert in the historic Summer Hall of Bose House. A number of concerts were held as part of the complementary programme to the symposium on Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and the Protestant church cantata after1750, which was held in the Bach Archive in November 2010. One special chamber music event was the concert of flute and keyboard music held on Friday, November 19, 2011, at 8pm in the Summer Hall of the Bach Museum, with the support of the Friends of the Bach Archive. PD Dr. Peter Wollny, researcher at the Bach Archive and editor-in-chief of the complete works of W. F. Bach (W. F. Gesamtausgabe), compiled a special programme of works by Bach's eldest son for the occasion. The internationally sought-after Bach interpreters Wilbert Hazelzet (traverse flute) and Nicholas Parle (harpsichord), were engaged for this concert.

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Alteration and extension of Bose House
In 2008-2009, the Friends of the Bach Archive helped the Bach Archive attract donations for the alteration and extension of Bose House and for fitting out the new Bach Museum and library.  

Architectural model of St. Thomas’s SchoolWhen Bach took up the cantorate at St. Thomas's in 1723, he and his family moved into St. Thomas’s School. When you look out of the Bach Museum exhibition rooms, you are looking at exactly the place where the school stood until its demolition in 1902. In the new museum, a model donated by the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive shows the school as it looked in 1732. Besides the classrooms and dormitories, it also housed the apartments of the headmaster and cantor. The model on display is based on drawings by George Werner prior to alterations in 1730-31, as well as on historical photos and descriptions. It was built by the Leipzig model-building company Modellbau Haus- und Raumgestaltung.

Support for the educational work of the Bach Museum

In 2009, children’s costumes in the style of Bach’s time were purchased for the Bach Museum’s Education department.

Research funding: Bach Digital
Besides high-resolution scans of J. S. Bach’s original sources, the Bach Digital project also encompasses an extensive database of sources and an index of works. The sources database and index of works are based on an older database. The index of works has always been very popular with the database users, but editing it never had the same priority as the sources database and digital library. This has now been put to rights thanks to a work project funded by the Bach Friends. All the data records of works have been made consistent with one another; in particular, numerous items of information and translated work titles have been added to the English page. This has brought Bach Digital much closer to its goal of being a comprehensive online platform all about Bach for academics and laypeople. See also:

Library funding: Aid for acquisitions
Below is some information on a selection of valuable books and prints that were purchased in 2009 with the support of the Friends of the Bach Archive.

Quantz, Johann Joachim: “Essay on a Method of Playing the Flute Traversiere…”, Berlin, 1752
An important eighteenth-century textbook with extensive notes on style and the history of music by Bach pupil Johann Friedrich Agricola. Several references are also made to Bach’s organ-playing and his links to musicians of his times.

Nicolai, Friedrich: “On the Use of False Hair and Wigs in Ancient and Modern Times”. – Berlin and Stettin, 1801
Very rare cultural and historical document about the eighteenth-century fashion for wigs; it also makes mention of a portrait of J. S. Bach.

[Ernesti, J. A.]: Io. Zachariae (Richtero) civit. Lips. senat… Leipzig, 1766
Obituary for Johann Zacharias Richter who owned the house at number 16 Thomaskirchhof from around 1750. Richter displayed his exquisite collection of portraits in his new home. This rare obituary is illustrated with vignettes by A. F. Oeser.

Heinse, Johann Jacob Wilhelm: Hildegard von Hohenthal, Parts 1 and 2, Berlin 1795 and 1796
A rare first edition of the Romantic bildungsroman by J. J. W. Heinse, which is at the same time an outline of a Romantic musical aesthetic. The works of J. S. Bach are mentioned numerous times, including the “miraculous fugues full of melodies of the delicious music of the spheres”.

Bach, Johann Christian (1735-1782)
Portrait medallion in the centre of the engraved reproduction of Bach’s tomb in London. Copperplate engraving by F. Bartolozzi based on the ostentatious design by Aug. Carlini for Christian’s tomb in London.

Weigel, Johann Christoph, Oboe-player. French horn Original copperplate engravings from “Musicalisches Theatrum”, 1722
Very rare original copperplate engravings from the series of loose-sheet illustrations of instruments published by Johann Christoph Weigel ca 1722, the composition of which is very closely based on Mattheson’s Neueröffnetes Orchestre and which, with a total of 36 sheets, offers a good idea of the musical instruments of the eighteenth century.

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Acquisitions co-funded by the Friends of the Bach Archive
During his lifetime, Johann Sebastian Bach’s work rarely attracted public attention. However, one event did once make him the subject of headlines in the leading daily newspapers – his visit to Frederick the Great in Potsdam in May 1747. An unknown writer reports on his evening arrival in the “ante-room”, how he was welcomed by the king, played on the “so-named forte and piano” and lastly requested by the king to perform an off-the-cuff improvisation of a fugue on a given theme  – a memorable moment in musical history which resulted in the famous Musical Offering.

The Leipzig Bach Archive recently had the opportunity to acquire a copy of the Berlinische Nachrichten of May 16, 1747, the first newspaper to publish a report of Bach’s visit to Potsdam. Eighteenth-century daily newspapers rank among the rarest items on the antiquarian market. Of this edition, only three examples are known to exist worldwide. This copy is in an excellent state of conservation and is to be presented to the public for the first time at the reopening of the Bach Museum.
The purchase was made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive. The Friends’ treasurer, Miriam Wolf, handed this new acquisition to director of the Bach Archive Professor Christoph Wolff and Library manager Kristina Funk-Kunath.

Calov, Abraham: “Biblia, That Is: The Entire Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments / German Dr. Martin Luther.” - Dresden, 1719. – Vol. 2
A very rare, parallel copy of what is known as the Calov Bible, which is documented as belonging to the library of Johann Sebastian Bach. The original copy, with handwritten entries, has been kept in the library of the Concordia Seminary St. Louis, Missouri/USA since 1933 

Seutter, Matthäus: Map of Anhalt – Köthen – Dessau – Barby: Copperplate map – Original tinting – Augsburg, ca 1730
Very beautiful and well-conserved copperplate map with original partial tinting, by Matthäus Seutter. This map shows a part of Saxony-Anhalt with the cities of Köthen, Dessau and Zerbst.

Bach, August Wilhelm (1796-1869): “Fantasias, Preludes and Fugues Arranged for the Organ and Reverently Dedicated to Prof. Zelter and Mr. Ritschel, member of the Consistory” … Berlin: Lischke, [ca 1819]. – 23 pp., oblong folio
A. W. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s organ teacher, was such a respected musician that Ledebur devoted more than three pages to him in his encyclopaedia. Although he was not a member of the famous “Bach family”, his biography and work would have fitted perfectly into the family history, as he worked as a Protestant church musician mainly in Berlin. The two dedicatees had a decisive influence on Bach’s career: he studied under Carl Friedrich Zelter and in 1816 he was appointed organist at the church of St. Mary in Berlin by its pastor at that time, Georg Carl Benjamin Ritschel. 

Bach, Johann Sebastian: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. in D Major, BWV 1050, First Edition, Parts. – Leipzig: Peters, [ca 1851/52], engraved, folio
The Brandenburg Concertos were published some one hundred years after the composer’s death by Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn, who was regarded as “one of the most learned and most e contrapunctalists and musical theorists of the modern age” (Mendel, 1873)

Harpsichord of Italian design presented to the public
This Italian-design harpsichord, the acquisition of which was largely funded by the Friends of the Bach Archive, was presented to the public for the first time at the 2008 Bach Festival. On Thursday, June 19, 2008, the ensembles Stimmwerck and La Villanella Basel performed on it Italian music of the Renaissance against the impressive backdrop of the Rome panorama in the Leipzig Panometer.

The Bach Archive sincerely thanks the members of the Friends for providing the funding without which this purchase would not have been possible!

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Aid for Library acquisition: “History of the City of Leipzig from the Most Ancient to Modern Times”

by Karl Grosse. - Leipzig: Polet, 1842
Karl Große’s two-volume study ranks as one of the most fundamental treatises on the history of the city of Leipzig. With their faithful depictions of important buildings, including numerous monuments which today no longer exist, the numerous copperplate engravings accompanying the work are of particular value. In late 2007, the Bach Archive was able to acquire this work with the support of the Friends.

Valuable print edition of C.P.E. Bach’s Harpsichord Sonatas
The Bach Archive added an important item to its series of original prints of works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sei Sonate per Cembalo... Wq 48 – an original print dating from 1742. Bach’s second-eldest son Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714–1788), who from 1738 to 1768 was a harpsichordist at the court of Frederick the Great, first came to public attention with a prestigious collection of keyboard works in 1742. He dedicated his first opus to his then master. It is from this dedication that the title by which it is still usually known today – the “Prussian Sonatas” – is derived. This print edition dated 1742 is a bibliographical rarity. The acquisition was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Friends of the Leipzig Bach Archive.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sei Sonate per Cembalo... Wq 48. Nuremberg: Schmid, [1742]. - - 34 pp.  

Bach Archive acquires a rare edition: “New Songs and Their Melodies” by Johann Friedrich Doles, Leipzig 1750.
The Leipzig Bach Archive has enriched its collection with the addition of a bibliographical rarity. With funding from the Friends of the Bach Archive, it has acquired one of only three known copies worldwide of Johann Friedrich Doles’ Neue Lieder nebst ihren Melodien (“New Songs and Their Melodies”) from a private owner. This precious collection of songs has now been entrusted to the care of the Bach Archive Library by the president of the Friends of the Bach Archive, Burkhard Schreiber. This collection of one-part songs with a piano accompaniment, published in 1750 by Leipzig publisher Johann Gottfried Dyck with coloured binding (24x20cm), contains the sheet music for a total of 25 songs. “What is remarkable is first and foremost the complex method of production, as each page was printed twice: first of all the notes were printed on the paper using copperplate engraving, after which the letterpress printing technique was used to print the text with moveable type,” explains Dr. Peter Wollny of the Leipzig Bach Archive.

As a student in Leipzig Johann Friedrich Doles (1715 - 1797) was, in about 1740, one of the close circle of young musicians around Johann Sebastian Bach. At the time his songs were published, Doles had already been working as a cantor in Freiberg for several years, but the simple words and light, pleasing style of the settings are a hint that they were the fruit of his student years in Leipzig. Doles became cantor of St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig after Bach in 1756 and, with 33 years in office, still holds the record. The composer’s oeuvre includes numerous cantatas, motets and passions.

Acquisition of a harpsichord 2006-2007
One of the principal funding projects in 2006 and 2007 was to help the Bach Archive purchase a harpsichord of Italian design to replace the German-designed Harrass. The instrument will be showcased at the 2008 Bach Festival – in a concert in the Leipzig Panometer on June 19 at 8pm.

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Library purchases in 2006
In 2006, the Friends of the Bach Archive helped fund the purchase of rare, antique items for the Bach Archive’s collection.

Gellert’s “Sacred Odes and Songs with Melodies”
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach – Berlin:  Winter, 1758

The Geistliche Oden und Lieder mit Melodien (“Sacred Odes and Songs with Melodies”), published in 1758 by Berlin-based Georg Ludwig Winter is C. P. E. Bach’s first collection of vocal works. Rather than publish an arbitrary compilation of isolated songs as many of his contemporaries did, Bach’s second-eldest son set to music the collection of poems published just the previous year (1757) by the Leipzig professor of philosophy, Christian Fürchtegott Gellert (1715-1769), who during his lifetime was an esteemed poet. C. P. E. Bach’s settings were extremely successful: by 1784 no fewer than five editions had been published. In September, the Bach Archive acquired a rare first-edition copy, of which only 16 are known to exist worldwide, from a private owner.

The Serene Princes and Lords,
..., Brothers Johann Ernst, Adolph Wilhelm, Johann Georgen and Bernhard, Dukes of Saxony, Cleves and Bergen, Landgraves in Thuringia,... Improved Church Order.... - Weimar: Eyliker, 1664

The Church Order of the Duchy of Weimar is an important document which provides information about the liturgical sequence and special features of the church services on Sundays and feast days and thus at the same time valuable clues as to the context of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Weimar cantatas. What the Weimar Church Order has to say about church music is especially instructive. In it, clerics and musicians are asked to choose pieces “of fitting gravity / that is, not so designed / to be more suitable for dancing / than for worship”. The copy of this rare document acquired by the Bach Archive looks almost as if it has come fresh from the printing press. The costly leather binding (with a lock) is also in immaculate condition.

“Musical Almanac”
Johann Friedrich Reichardt – “With 12 new songs in copperplate engraving”. Berlin: published by Johann Friedrich Unger, 1796

Literary and music almanacs were very popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They are still coveted collectibles today – and one of the rarest is the small almanac published by the erstwhile Prussian kapellmeister Johann Friedrich Reichardt, of which only a dozen copies are known to exist worldwide. Reichardt’s Musikalischer Almanach of 1796 is of special musicological importance because of the numerous unique anecdotes about musicians it supplies. Numerous references are also made to Bach and his sons.

2006 International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition
For the 2006 Bach Competition (July 4-15, 2006), the Friends of the Bach Archive funded an Audience Award in all three categories. In the Piano category, the prize went to Irina Zahharenkova (age 30, Estonia), in the Harpsichord category to Ilpo Laspas (age 22, Finland), and in the Violin category to Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir (age 21, Iceland).

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Funded projects

International Bach-Competition
Bust of Bach, made with the original plaster cast by sculptor Hermann Knaur (1843)
Ernst Ludwig Gerber, “Historical and Biographical Encyclopaedia for Composers”
Scheffler, Joachim Ernst: View of Leipzig from the South-east and Six views of Buildings



Links to Leipzig Bach Archive


Contact details

Friends of the Bach Archive
Office in “Haus der Kirche”
Burgstraße 1-5
D-04109 Leipzig

Tel.: +49-(0)341-96278920
Mail: freunde(at)

Opening times of our office in “Haus der Kirche”
Tuesday, 10am-3pm
Thursday, 10am-3pm

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