Patrizia Metzler, Artistic Director of the Bach Collegium Paris, received her doctorate in choral conducting and literature from the University of Illinois School of Music at Urbana-Champaign in 2007. There she also pursued advanced studies in musicology focusing on concerted works of the Baroque period. Her doctoral research culminated in a dissertation that demonstrated new threads of influence that resulted in the formal structures found in J.S. Bach’s early Chorus and Aria movements.
Growing out of her experience both as conductor and scholar she has completed a study of Beethoven’s sketchbook Grasnick 5 (check website), a collection of the composer’s drafts that were incorporated into the Dona nobis pacem in his Missa Solemnis. She has lectured at conferences in France and the United States on the significance of performance annotations that Beethoven included in his sketchbooks and the ways they can inform performance of his works.
In 2007 she accepted an invitation to conduct the COGE Symphonic Choir. Since taking over that ensemble, she has conducted Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bruckner’s Mass in e minor, Handel’s Messiah and Gloria and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, in addition to preparing Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Dvorak’s and Schubert’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijahand Beethoven’s Mass in C.
Her research on Baroque repertoire and the creative process has led to a continuing interest in historically informed performance of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and their contemporaries. With the foundation of BACH COLLEGIUM PARIS, she now conducts an ensemble of singers and musicians that will explore new ways to understand and perform music from the 17th and 18th centuries and bring a vibrant new voice to the early music scene in Paris.
A Word from the Artistic Director
« The Bach Collegium Paris was formed in 2009 with goal to promote choral and instrumental music of the German baroque, particularly that of J.S. Bach. The Ensemble will focus on incorporating all aspects of baroque performance practice as exemplified in current understanding of the relationships between music and text. The ideals of the German Baroque came came to extraordinary fulfillment in the works of J. S. Bach, as well as those of important contemporaries such a G. P. Telemann. Our work will focus as well on works that have been known and performed before and ever since these composers were active, and thus include the many works by lesser known composers that remain in manuscript and await rediscovery and performance.
Equally important is our interest in the understanding of the rich and broadly relevant historical context in which this music was composed. We intend to demonstrate in our concert programming the interconnectedness of all aspects of cultural life and we will offer our listeners the possibility of a greater understanding of the repertoire by providing extensive program notes. We will structure our programs so that connections between various works can be experienced both as works individually significant, and as compositions that illuminate each other, comment, in effect, on the ways composers of that time exercised formative influences on each other.
Current research on all aspects of this music will be brought to bear on the work of the Bach Collegium Paris. We will explore the uses of instrumental and vocal practices as elucidated by original sources which describe performance practices. Recent scholarship also has much to offer both by way of illuminating original source materials and suggesting new ways to understand and realize the Baroque musical aesthetic. We believe that rich base of scholarship will enable the Bach Collegium Paris to explore aspects of sound and programming that will lead to an exciting engagement with our listeners, and offer a fresh and distinctive voice of early music.
Within the city of Paris we intend to forge ties with the many talented singers and musicians who are exploring this repertoire. We intend to shape an artistic presence here that can offer what one finds in major cultural centers such as Amsterdam, Koeln and Berlin to name just three large urban centers where music from the 17th and 18th centuries has become a fixture in the cultural environment.
It is our goal to add to the already rich Parisian musical life an institution that will produce concerts of the highest quality and thus become a staple of the Parisian musical landscape. »
Patrizia Metzler, Artistic Director.