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Oct. 29, 2023

Guest ensemble explores groundbreaking Bach music

Ars Musica Chicago

A unique ensemble brings the music of J. S. Bach alive, transporting all listeners to the dynamic and innovative period of Baroque musicality. MSU College of Music continues the 2023-24 Taylor Johnston Early Music Series with its second of three concerts. Now in its eighth year, the annual series presents concerts of historically informed music that are unique to Mid-Michigan venues.

Ars Musica Chicago is the next featured group of the concert series, performing at 8 p.m., Nov. 3 in Fairchild Theatre of the MSU Auditorium. Their program, titled “Bach and Before,” explores groundbreaking works from the stylus phantasticus trio sonatas of Buxtehude to delectable character pieces by Couperin. Bach, who lived during one of the most influential periods in Western musical history, is the primary focus, and the program includes pieces by some of the prominent forebears and illustrious contemporaries whose works he heard, studied, and deeply admired. [Click here for tickets]

With a mission of highlighting the forgotten treasures of historical music, Ars Musica Chicago finds purpose in meaningfully revising historic pieces for modern audiences. Since 1986, the group has been dedicated to providing workshops, concerts, and educational experiences with music from the 12th to 19th centuries for all ages of passionate listeners.

Other upcoming Early Music Series concerts at Fairchild Theatre include:

“Virtuosa,” Infusion Baroque, an ensemble of four women who celebrate the music of women composers and performers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m.

The entire series is generously sponsored by the Taylor Johnston Early Music Series Endowment established by Taylor Johnston. Dr. Johnston had been an MSU professor for 51 years and passed away in 2019. His long-time passion for music, particularly early music, led him to establish the annual series.

Reserved seating tickets for this and other performances in the series are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors (age 60 and older), and $7 for students with ID and anyone under 18, and can be purchased online, by calling 517-353-5340, or at the door. More information about the Taylor Johnston Early Music Series and other events can be found at

This story originally appeared on the College of Music website. 

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