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Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, 1041 Wisconsin, NW, Washington, DC, is hosting Austrian-born concert organist Michael Koenig on March 21st, 2023, at 7 pm, in an all-Bach Recital to celebrate the 338th Birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Michael Koenig currently holds the position of Graduate Organist at Exeter College, Oxford while also pursuing a doctorate in Music and Global History at the University of Oxford (England). His current doctoral research is entitled ‘Between Democratization of Music and the Display of Status and Innovation: The Global Advent of Large Secular Pipe Organs across the Anglophone World, c. 1850-1914.’
Michael Koenig’s previous musical affiliations include St. Paul’s Knightsbridge in London (England), St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Copenhagen (Denmark), and Holy Trinity Jesuit Church in Innsbruck (Austria). He is a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal
College of Organists and a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Musicians’ Company, one of London’s centuries-old livery companies.
In addition to his current musical and academic occupations, Mr. Koenig also works as the program coordinator and producer of “The Organ Show,” a lively webcast of the Royal College of Organists’ featuring stories, interviews, and performances around organ music and organ building.
In June 2021, Michael Koenig, performed an all-Bach recital on the American organ built by Richards, Fowkes, & Co. at St. George’s on Hannover Square in London (England). The YouTube-video of his performance was included in our Virtual Bach Festival at Grace Church in 2021. This performance and all others from our 2021 Virtual Bach Festival remain on our website at www.gracedc.org
We are grateful to now have Mr. Koenig perform his all-Bach recital “live” on the A. David Moore organ at Grace. Built using the same organ building principles that were used in organ building in the 17th and 18th centuries, our A. David Moore Organ (1981) is a fine partner for performances of the music of Bach and his contemporaries.
Mr. Koenig’s recital at Grace Church on March 21st, 2023, includes two musical examples of dividing a Prelude and Fugue with a slow movement from another Bach work. This serves for the listener as a musical pause between the very complex Preludes and Fugues. For example, the Prelude in C minor (BWV 546i) is followed by the Adagio from the first Trio Sonata (BWV 525ii). The Fugue in C minor (BWV 546ii) then completes this tripartite form.
The program concludes in the same manner. Befitting the contemplative season of Lent, Mr. Koenig uses the chorale-
prelude on Herzlich tut mich verlangen (BWV 727) between the Prelude and Fugue in b minor (BWV 544). Other works on the program are the Partita Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig (BWV 768) and An Wasserflüssen Babylon (BWV 653) from Bach’s Leipzig Chorales.
Mr. Koenig is graciously donating all proceeds from his March 21st recital at Grace Church toward the 28th Bach Festival at Grace Church in 2023.
The Bach Festival at Grace Church was created in 1993 by Lawrence Molinaro, who was Music Director at Grace Church at that time. Since then, through a series of innovative and integrated programs, the Festivals have shared the incomparable music of Johann Sebastian Bach, also featuring compositions by Bach’s contemporaries and composers influenced by him.
The Washington Post has commented the following about Grace Church and the Grace Church Bach Festival:
“Georgetown’s C & O Canal runs near Grace Church, set quietly back from Wisconsin Avenue and a hairs-breath from the Potomac. The church offers one of Washington’s supreme concert series, its annual Bach Festival.”
For more information, please visit our website at www.gracedc.org, or contact Dr. Francine Máté, Bach Festival Director and Organist/Choirmaster at Grace Church, at email@example.com or 202-333-7100.