ABOUT OXFORD BACH SOLOISTS
Bringing together performers and audiences in an immersive experience of the complete vocal works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
The Oxford Bach Soloists (OBS) is a Baroque ensemble whose ambition is to perform, in sequence, the complete canon of J. S. Bach’s vocal works over 12 years. Founded by Tom Hammond-Davies (Artistic Director) in 2015, OBS offers a unique musical experience that converges composer, performer, and audience.
The OBS Mission
Our mission is distinctive and pioneering: while there have been many recordings and performances of the complete vocal works of J. S. Bach, no ensemble has ever mounted a cycle of performances in chronological order, programmed in real-time, and in the context for which they were conceived. OBS has set out to perform Bach’s works as he himself would have realised them with performers, instruments, and venues that echo the university and churches of Bach’s hometown of Leipzig.
Bach’s music is community music. He was famously networked amongst an extended family of musicians in northern Germany. Today, OBS champions our local students, scholars, players, soloists, and amateurs in performances that mirror the diversity of our community.
Our commitment to Education
OBS is creating long-term sustainable relationships with state-supported schools to improve numeracy and literacy skills. With the help of our regular interventions, we empower educators to use music as a transformative teaching tool.
OBS provides the next generation of young aspiring singers with the opportunity to develop their solo singing within the musical programme of the Oxford Bach Soloists. Funded by the generosity of our donors and foundations, 12 competitively appointed Choral Scholars develop their skills by taking on step-out solos during our concerts, and receive professional German language coaching. They transfer their learning experience to the rest of the chorus by making up its core and contribution to its musical integrity. See our Choral Scholars for 2018/19.
As a laboratory for current research, OBS draws from a number of world experts in Oxford, including specialists from the Faculties of Music, Theology, History, and Modern Languages. Our historically informed musicianship allows for a lively interplay between committed performance and an immersive experience for the audience.
“The intuitive clarity of Tom Hammond-Davies’ musical direction brought out every nuance.”
Winner of multiple awards, Hammond-Davies has worked with Lorin Maazel, Peter Manning, James Gilchrist, Dame Ann Murray, Roderick Williams, and conducted premières of works by Colin Riley, Paul Spicer, and Sir James MacMillan. Appearances include the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, the Three Choirs Festival, the Oxford Lieder Festival, Three Palaces Festival Malta, and as guest conductor with the New Mozart Orchestra, International Baroque Players, Oxford Bach Choir, New Chamber Singers in Rome, and Music Nova in Antwerp.
Educated at Oxford and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Hammond-Davies was Organ Scholar at Hertford College, a countertenor Lay Clerk with the Choir of New College, Choir Director at St John’s College, and nominated for the Arts Foundation Fellowship.
ChairmanMiles Young was an undergraduate historian at New College, Oxford from 1973 to 1976 and he returned to New College as Warden in 2016.
His business career has been spent in advertising and marketing, most recently as Chairman and CEO of Ogilvy and Mather, a leading global communications network. More than half of that was spent outside the UK, in China, and then in North America. He retains a strong interest in the issues facing developing countries, especially in Asia.
TreasurerJudith is a chartered accountant who spent many years in practice with KPMG, auditing and advising companies from listed multinationals to small arts bodies and independent businesses. She then moved to Oxford University as an administrator, where she has had a number of roles in planning and financial organisation. She is a keen singer and lapsed oboist.