The Church in Dornheim where Johann Sebastian and his second cousin Maria Barbara were married in 1707, about a 2.5 mile (4 km) walk from Arnstadt.

Happy Easter!

These are exciting times for me. I just finished participating in a typical Dutch thing to do this time of year: I sang Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as a choir member. I was lucky to get into a choir of lovely people, work with an amazing conductor, make some new friends, and even come out of it with an engagement for a different choral singing project that will take me to Leipzig in June.

But, Leipzig is the town of the last part of Bach’s life, and I have always wanted to see the towns where he spent his youth first. So today I’m on my way to Thuringia, the region where Bach spent the first 32 years of his life.

Reading materials to prepare for this trip

The next four days are going to be packed with concerts of the Thüringer Bachwochen (a fantastic festival of several weeks with performances in historic Bach churches) a visit to Bach’s birth place Eisenach, and a tour of the Bach locations in Weimar.

Today we drive from Frankfurt to Arnstadt, where we attend a concert in the church where Bach held his first position as organist. In his time it was called the “Neue Kirche” (New Church), but it was renamed in the 1980s, and is now the Johann Sebastian Bach Church. Photos in the next post!

I invite you to travel with me! This week you can travel with me virtually, by following me here, on Instagram at @weeklycantata, or on Facebook at I will try to post every day. Next year, you can join me in person on a trip from Frankfurt to all these Bach towns, as well as Leipzig.

Wieneke Gorter, April 17, 2022