Bach Society Welcomes New Leader

A weekend of Baroque music kicks off 2016 season

Something seems to be in the air with leadership turnovers at venerable Minnesota arts organizations. While the appointment of a new honcho at the Guthrie (for instance) has garnered its share of headlines, the Cobalt Colossus is a relative newcomer in the landscape next to the 84-year-old Bach Society of Minnesota—which kicks off its season next weekend under the leadership of new artistic director Matthias Maute.

Maute lives in Montreal, where he teaches at McGill University and heads up the baroque orchestra Ensemble Caprice. He brings a reputation as a dynamic conductor and leader described as “inspirational” by Paul Boehnke, who led the Society for the last nine years and who will play organ at next week’s performances in St. Paul, Winona, and Marshall.

“I had a great nine years,” he says (Boehnke also holds down a day gig as a graphic designer in the MNMO organization). “I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and now it’s time for some new things.”

The Bach Society stresses Baroque works that can deliver fantastic emotional impact with complexity and energy; the effect is one of exquisite timelessness. Maute’s inaugural concert is programmed to display the range of Bach’s compositions with a dozen singers and an orchestra of 10 playing period instruments.

“It’ll be a great variety—instrumental and vocal, sacred and secular,” Boehnke says. “It will show what the ensemble can do, and the range of Matthias’s skills as well.”

Alleluja! by Bach Society of Minnesota:

Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Central Lutheran Church, Winona

Friday, September 23, 2016 at Sundin Music Hall, St. Paul

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at First Lutheran Church, Marshall

Tickets here.

Quinton Skinner is a writer and editor based in the Twin Cities. A former senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, he held the same post at Twin Cities METRO and 
has written for major national and local publications. He is the co-founder of Logosphere Storysmiths and author of several novels, including his latest, Odd One Out.