McGegan Conducts Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Cantata Collective

Plus, Cantata Collective Announces Launch of Recording Partnership With AVIE Records

Cantata Collective, the Bay Area ensemble dedicated to performing and recording all of J.S. Bach’s cantatas and major choral works, has announced two major initiatives for spring 2023.

The first is a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, one of the most important and profound works for voices and orchestra in Western classical music. Taking place on Monday, March 20, 2023, in the superb setting of Berkeley’s First Congregational Church, the concert also commemorates the 338th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Conductor Nicholas McGegan, hailed as “one of the finest Baroque conductors of his generation” (The Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker), will lead the Cantata Collective Orchestra and Chorus as well as a quartet of vocal soloists: soprano Sherezade Panthaki, alto Rhianna Cockrell, tenor Thomas Cooley, and bass Paul Max Tipton.

More information about the March 20 concert is available on the ensemble’s website,

This spring also marks the launch of Cantata Collective’s new partnership with AVIE Records to record Bach’s six choral masterpieces — the St John and St Matthew Passions, Mass in B Minor, the Christmas and Ascension Oratorios, and the Magnificat — over the next five years. The first album AVIE will release in this ambitious project is the St John Passion, which Cantata Collective recorded at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church in March 2022.

Marc Schachman, co-founder and oboist with Cantata Collective, notes that the recording initiative is a central component of the ensemble’s mission: 

“Our aim is to provide music lovers across the world with fresh recordings of the major choral works of J.S. Bach — marrying musical interpretations of the highest caliber with superior audio quality. We’re thrilled to be working with our dear colleague David v.R. Bowles, the Grammy-nominated head of Swineshead Productions, to record each work in high-definition 3D immersive audio that creates a powerful ‘you are there’ listening experience.”

More details about the new album will be available from AVIE Records in the coming weeks.

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