Program Description

Thank you for your interest in the summer Institute for School Teachers, “Johann Sebastian Bach: Music of the Baroque and the Enlightenment.” The Institute is hosted by Moravian College and is funded by the National Endowment for Humanities. The institute will take place in three German cities: Eisenach, Bach’s birthplace; Leipzig, Bach’s longest musical post; and Potsdam, where Bach met Frederick the Great. The NEH institute participants, also designated as NEH Summer Scholars, will arrive on Sunday, July 6, 2014, and leave Potsdam after noon on Friday, August 1, 2014. The first day of the Institute is July 7. Each summer scholar will receive a stipend of $3300, which will defray many of the expenses.

The primary focus of this Institute is to understand the intellectual and musical worlds of J. S. Bach. We will investigate the aesthetic and spiritual systems of knowledge and belief of the eighteenth century as mirrored in Bach's music. Participating teachers from a wide variety of disciplines will gain a deeper understanding of Bach's musical universe and a more profound awareness of the various approaches to interpreting his music and setting it in context. Although the major focus will be on Bach's own world, we will also examine how Bach's music has been interpreted in recent times, showing how it has taken on new life in ways that respond to the cultural assumptions of the modern world.

If this topic interests you, we welcome you to sit back and take some time to read this letter. Although it may seem a bit long, we are hoping that by the end of this introduction, you’ll be as excited by the prospect of this NEH summer Institute as we are.

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