Bach Society Houston was founded in 1982 at Christ the King Lutheran Church to present Bach's cantatas in the context of a Sunday evening vespers services which was inspired by the example of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan. The late Robert Lynn was engaged as Music Director, and together they worked to establish an ensemble which reflected the latest research and scholarship of historically-informed performance practice of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. A series of Bach Vespers was the Society’s first offering; the response of the public was overwhelming, and attendance at our home venue of Christ the King remained at capacity over the years as the number of presentations steadily increased.
An important impetus came in 1995 with the installation of a new organ at Christ the King. The “Bach Organ” was built by Fritz Noack in the style of 18th-century Saxon organbuilder Zacharias Hildebrandt, and was hailed as one of the most important instruments of its kind on the North American continent. Ideally suited for the performance of Bach’s organ music, the instrument became the centerpiece of a series of organ recitals featuring distinguished organists from around the world.
In the ensuing years, Bach Society Houston evolved into a fully independent 501(c)(3) organization while maintaining a close affiliation with its founding congregation. In 2003, on the retirement of Robert Lynn, Albert LeDoux was engaged as Artistic Director. Building on the Society’s strong tradition, he oversaw the further growth of BSH in many areas, shifting to a professional choir, and adding a chamber music series.
Coming full circle in 2013, Rick Erickson, the director of the Holy Trinity Bach Vespers series upon which BSH was founded, became the director of the Bach Society, and has continued and heightened the group's level. The culmination of years of planning, the Bach Choir has now performed twice at the BachFest in Leipzig, Germany in the summers of 2017 and 2023, the first professional American choir to receive an invitation. We offer Bach Vespers, chamber music and organ recitals, and special concerts.
Described by the Houston Chronicle as the “jewel of the Houston arts and music scene,” Bach Society Houston has built an international reputation as a cultural organization and has served as a musical ambassador for Houston and the United States through cooperation with the German, Swedish, and Danish consulates, the Czech Cultural Center, and the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association.