Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for November, 2012

Modern Day Patrons of the Arts in Dornheim, Germany



Rosemarie Frey

JS Bach’s Wedding Church in Dornheim, Germany is now a well-known memorial to Bach, with thousands of visitors from all over the world.  However,  in 1996, with the church in a desolate state, demolition was being considered.  However, a group of villagers (true patrons of the arts) rescued the building and provided for its restoration.

Led by Rosemarie Frey, the “Friends to Preserve the Wedding Church of Johann Sebastian Bach in Dornheim” was founded.  With financial support from the Foundation for the Protection of Monuments in Thuringia, the Office for Protection of Monuments, and  the Protestant churches of Thuringia, the “Friends” put their hands and talents to the task and saved this beautiful church.

These local patrons of the arts made sure this part of the life of one of the most important musicians of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach, was preserved for generations to come.  Today the church not only hosts concerts by artists from around the world eager to play the music of Bach in this historic place, but dozens of weddings every year for couples wanting to recreate the joy of Johann Sebastian and Maria Barbara’s wedding over three centuries ago.

I was privileged to perform at the Bach Wedding Church in the summer of 2012 presenting a tour of Bach’s life through his organ music.  In 2013, my husband and I will be performing the organ and media event, Bach and Sons, in this lovely location thanks to modern-day patrons of the arts in Dornheim, Germany.

A Patron of the Arts

In our Bach and Sons organ and media event, I narrate part of the show as Sara Levy, an inveterate patron of the arts.  Sara Levy is known to us today as a woman who knew the Bach family and collected as much of the music by Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons as possible, preserving it for future generations.  It was her Christmas gift of Johann Sebastian Bach’s score of the St. Matthew Passion to her great-nephew, Felix Mendelssohn, that in effect started the 19th century Bach revival. 

Sara Levy, patron of the arts:

  • recognized the magnitude of the music of the old master Johann Sebastian Bach;
  • had a passion for collecting the scores of Bach, sparing them from being used as wrapping paper or simply being lost;
  • gifted the score of one of the most monumental works by JS Bach to her famously talented great-nephew which led to the first performance of the work since Bach’s death
  • made sure that the incredible music of Johann Sebastian Bach lived on not only in her lifetime and ours but into the future.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and creator of Bach and Sons

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