54 years passed, as the first Bach concert took place in 1957 in the temple of Lutry. This is a particular longevity for a concert series, and this is a celebration similar to a “golden anniversary” of a long married life. For us, for you, this celebration manifests in diverse forms: one programme extremely rich containing 7 concerts, followed by another series of extraordinary concerts in April 2011: the fool days Johann-Sebastian Bach in Lutry. During these fool days you can visit in the Mafli hall in the Castle of Lutry an exhibition of documents and of programmes related to the more than 50 years’ history of the Bach Concerts. The following lines aim at providing the main outlines. Before evoking the history of our concerts, we have to say, that certain characteristics are evident: the strong presence and influence of the artistic directors, successively Edgar Shann, Árpád Gerecz and Bernadette Elöd; the focusing on one master, Johann-Sebastian Bach, whose work remains the axis of our concerts; finally a remarkable surrounding which impresses every performer and every audience, the temple of Lutry. But there are also other elements which are characteristic to our concerts: the collaboration between the foreign interpreters and ensembles and “our” musicians; the participations of excellent vocal ensembles active in our country; the promotion of young talent often being yet in formation in our conservatories. We add, that the absence of sponsors and important subventions - except one, to which we shall return later on – has been a permanent preoccupation during this long 50 years, eased only by the devotion of a benevolent and friendly staff and by a committee supporting the artistic direction in its job.
The founder of the Bach Concerts, Edgar Shann
The Bach Concerts under the reign of Árpád Gérecz
The Bach Concerts under Bernadette Elöd
Arriving to the end of this evocation of magnificent concerts, given by prestigious artists, it is worth to mention the fact, that although the rich programme of Bernadette Elöd is based on the qualities of our artistic director, it also owes to the financial support of the Loterie Romande. Without this support, concerts of this quality would not be possible, because the revenue of the concerts, even if the temple is full, does cover only one third of the costs. Evidently we are grateful also to the Commune of Lutry, to the Amis de Concerts Bach, to some occasional donors, however we can thank our existence to the Loterie Romande. We wish for this support to continue , to keep the love of Bach’s music and to find future artists who can hold very high the flame of the Bach Concerts as worthy heirs of those, who preceded them !
Translated from french by Lackó Gábor