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.