Bach and his Dutch Contemporaries
26 Feb 2015
Music News

This year sees Simon Murphy's vibrant and engaging, hand-crafted concert programme Bach and his Dutch Contemporaries enjoying its 10th year of international success.

Together with members of The Hague's Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), and in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Murphy has delighted audiences around the world with the programme since 2005.

In 2006, Murphy toured the programme to Australia, with highly successful subsequent tours to Canada and the US in 2007 and 2009, and Hong Kong and China in 2014. He has performed the programme throughout Europe on the festival circuit, including at the prestigious Bachfest Leipzig in 2010. In 2013, at home in The Hague, Murphy and the NDA were invited to perform a very special version of the programme for the Dutch royal family and guests (pictured).

            Simon Murphy Conductor Baroque Viola Dutch Royal Family

            Simon Murphy Gudrun Sidonie Otto Caroline Kang Dutch Royal Family

Delivering an intimate and personal musical experience, Murphy offers a captivating view of the richness and variety of the cosmopolitan European music scene of the earlier 18th century, brought to life in an authentic, immediate, dynamic and highly satisfying sound-scape. The programme features classic Bach arias including "Höchster, Mache deine Güte" from Cantata no. 51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, "Schlummert ein" from Cantata no. 82a Ich habe genug and "Kommt, ihr angefochtnen Sünder" from Cantata no. 30 Freue dich, erlöste Schar, and places Bach's most famous aria not by him, "Bist du bei mir" (by Stölzel, but included in Anna Magdalena's Notebook), alongside Bach's newest "hit", the recently rediscovered "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn". Dutch and Dutch-based composers represented include van Wassenaer, de Fesch, Hacquart and Graaf, together with selections from Schickhardt's highly innovative L'Alphabet de la musique. Other vocal and instrumental works by Handel and Vivaldi complete the programme. For each new tour, Murphy subtly tweaks the programme, keeping it fresh and sparkling.                                                           
For the performances of the programme, Murphy utilises a compact Baroque ensemble or mini-orchestra and a style of instrumentation of the kind of size and type which Bach himself used at the court in Köthen and at his smaller, intimate concerts in Leipzig. With Murphy directing from the viola and with one instrument per part, the richly intricate ensemble/part writing of Bach and his contemporaries - as well as the vitality and immediacy of their musical language in performance - comes to the fore. As well as offering audiences a refreshing, authentic sound-scape, this highly transportable and compact ensemble size and style of instrumentation also lends itself particularly well to the demands of modern day, international touring in a practical sense.

In 2014, Murphy and the NDA toured the programme to Asia for PPHK.

In spring 2015, Murphy and the NDA will tour the programme to Turkey at the invitation of the 43rd Istanbul Music Festival and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. For the performances in Turkey, Murphy will also include music by Bach's flautist Buffardin and by Bach's brother, who were both residents of Istanbul in the early 18th century. Preceding the tour, Murphy and the NDA will perform the programme at the Gothic Hall of the Raad van State at home in The Hague (see for details).

In 2017, Murphy and the NDA have been invited to perform the programme with soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto at the prestigious Ansbach festival, Germany.

Watch videos of Murphy and the NDA performing repertoire from the programme (The Hague, 20014)

Listen to a live radio concert broadcast of the programme (Sydney, 2006)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

For more information on booking one of the productions
with Simon Murphy and the New Dutch Academy (halls or festivals),
or contracting one of the productions
with Simon Murphy as guest conductor (symphony orchestras),
please send an email to
or call direct on + 31 614 975 395