First Lutheran’s eleventh annual celebration of the birthday of the greatest of all Lutheran composers, Johann Sebastian Bach, will be on Saturday, March 23. Beginning at 8am and featuring concerts, organ recitals, and of course the famous German lunch (tickets $15, available at the door or from Eventbrite), the day will end with a Lutheran Vespers service at 5pm. All musical events are free and open to the public, and all may come and go as able.

Traditionally the Boston Bach Birthday has showcased First Lutheran’s brilliant Baroque pipe organ, perfect for the music of Bach. For this, the 334th year since Bach’s birth, the celebration will feature organists Lorraine Mihaliak (8am), Robert August (11am), Bálint Karosi (1:15pm), and Boston Bach International Organ Competition prizewinner Adriaan Hoek (3:15pm). Karosi’s program will additionally feature soprano Audrey Fernandez-Fraser. Additional solo recitals will be presented by Nelli Jabotinsky on Baroque violin (9am) and Aaron Larget-Caplan on guitar (2:15pm), and young violinists Sabrina Lang and Linnea Timko will play a movement from Bach’s “Double Concerto” (1:10pm). The prelude to Vespers will feature oboist Michael Ochoa (4:40pm) playing two oboe sonatas by Bach and Telemann.

The annual children’s event (10am) will feature renowned silent film accompanist Peter Krasinski playing a program entitled “BACH and the BALLOONATIC!” Along with the Toccata from BWV 564, Krasinski will improvise to a classic Buster Keaton short silent film as well as an animation about Martin Luther and a Davey and Goliath episode. As usual, all will be invited to the balcony to come view the organ up close after the presentation and to try pressing a few keys or pedals if they like.

The Bach Birthday will conclude with Vespers for the Third Sunday in Lent (5pm), featuring Bach’s motet Jesu meine Freude, BWV 227 and the Magnificat 2i toni by Matthias Weckmann. FLC’s own Reverend Ingo Dutzmann will officiate, and the Reverend Benjamin Ball of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Hamel, IL will preach on Romans 8, the source of much of the text for Bach’s motet. The service will incorporate hymnody and music of the sort that would have been sung at such a service led by Bach at his churches in Leipzig.

Complete list of music

8:00am—LORRAINE MIHALIAK, organ
In dir ist Freude, BWV 615—J.S. Bach
Fantasia & fugue in c, BWV 537—J.S. Bach
Sonate II, op. 65: 2. Allegro maestoso vivace—Fuga—Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639—J.S. Bach
Toccata, adagio, & fugue, BWV 564—J.S. Bach

9:00am—NELLI JABOTINSKY, violin, with Jonathan Wessler, harpsichord
Sonata in g, BWV 1001—J.S. Bach
Sonata in F, op. 5, no. 4—Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713)
Sonata in e, BWV 1023—J.S. Bach

10:00am—BACH and the BALLOONATIC! Peter Krasinski, organ
Along with the Toccata from BWV 564, Peter Krasinski, organist, improvises to a classic Buster Keaton short silent film as well as an animation about Martin Luther and a Davey and Goliath episode!
Following the program, children and their families are invited to visit the balcony to see the organ up close.

11:00am—ROBERT AUGUST, organ
Prelude & fugue in b, BWW 544—J.S. Bach
Six fugues on the name of Bach, op. 60: 1. Langsam—Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
Bach’s Memento: 3. Aria—J.S. Bach, arr. Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937)
Prelude & fugue in A, BWV 536—J.S. Bach
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV Anh. 73—J.S. Bach, arr. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788)
Fugue in a-flat, WoO 8—Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Prelude & fugue in a, BWV 543—J.S. Bach

12pm—GERMAN LUNCH (tickets $15)

1:10pm—SABRINA LANG & LINNEA TIMKO, violin with Jonathan Wessler, harpsichord
Concerto for two violins in d, BWV 1040 (“Double”): 1. Vivace—J.S. Bach

1:15pm—BÁLINT KAROSI, organ, with Audrey Fernandez-Fraser, soprano
Prelude & fugue in G, BWV 550—J.S. Bach
Capriccio on the Departure of a Deeply Beloved Brother, BWV 992—J.S. Bach
Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele, BWV 654—J.S. Bach
Movements from Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele, BWV 180—J.S. Bach
Chorale partita on “Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht”—Johann Gottfried Walther (1684–1748)
Movements from Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht, BWV 124—J.S. Bach
Prelude & fugue in G (2017)—Bálint Karosi (b. 1979)

2:15pm—AARON LARGET-CAPLAN, guitar
Prelude & fugue in a, BWV 539—J.S. Bach
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106—J.S. Bach
Chromatic fantasy & fugue, BWV 903—J.S. Bach
from The Well-Tempered Clavier I—J.S. Bach
21. Prelude, BWV 860
1. Prelude, BWV 846
5. Prelude, BWV 850
8. Prelude, BWV 853
15. Prelude, BWV 866
Prelude, fugue, & allegro, BWV 998—J.S. Bach

3:15pm—ADRIAAN HOEK, organ—Music from Clavier-Übung III (J.S. Bach)
Praeludium pro organo pleno, BWV 552/1
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, BWV 669
Christe, aller Welt Trost, BWV 670
Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist, BWV 671
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 676
Dies sind die Heiligen Zehn Gebot, BWV 678
Wir glauben all an einen Gott, BWV 680
Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 682
Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam, BWV 684
Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, BWV 686
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 688
Fuga a 5 con pedale pro organo pleno, BWV 552/2

4:40pm—PRELUDE TO VESPERS—Michael Ochoa, oboe, with Jonathan Wessler, harpsichord
Sonata in g, BWV 1030b—J.S. Bach
Sonata in B-flat, TWV 41:B6—Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767)

5pm—VESPERS
Hymn: From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee
Motet: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227—J.S. Bach
Magnificat 2i toni—Matthias Weckmann
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 1105—J.S. Bach
Hymn: Jesus, Priceless Treasure
Fugue in C, BWV 547/2—J.S. Bach

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