International Contius-Bach Festival

Concerts – Conferences – Academy – Competition
The Contius Bach Festival, based in the City and University of Leuven, will be focused on research and performance of music of the Bach family, their contemporaries and their stimuli, both passive and active.
The festival will create opportunities for musicological and musical contributions, with special emphasis on a combination of both.
This will draw international attention to the festival right from its inception.

1st edition

The Festival and Academy will be organized from 01 tot 09 juli 2022 as festival with Symposium.
The theme is “The Contius organ in Leuven, and beyond".

The world of the Bach family

The focus will be on the whole Bach family, with J.S.Bach as the central figure, but emphasis on earlier members as well as Bach’s offspring.

Three centuries of music

The whole family will be replaced in their respective contexts: not only their vocations but also their passive and active stimuli. This will encompass a time-span from Jan Pieterzoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) to the Viennese Classical Period, and even to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847).

A festival

Structure : 9 days – 7 main concerts – lectures - performance lectures – chamber-music concerts – solo concerts; together with an Academy or organ-competition (see below).

Period : 9 days around the first week of July.

The Contius organ

The Contius organ in the Saint Michael’s Church is the fulcrum of the whole organization. A state of the art instrument built on a large gallery for authentic performances of the works of J.S.Bach and his contemporaries.

A living research-laboratory

The festival plans to combine authentic performance practice with the latest historical research, and give new impulses through workshops and lecture-performances.
The whole community will be associated with this inspirational voyage of discovery.
The Festival aims to be a venue where the latest developments are discussed and publicized.

Academy-Organ competition

On a two-yearly basis, the structure of the Festival alternates between an Academy (with workshops and masterclasses around a significant central composition) and an International Organ Competition.
In the year of the organ-competition, the finale of the competition (with orchestra) will coincide with the end of the festival.


The various workshops, performance-lectures, and research will be published under the supervision of the University of Leuven (Musicology / AlamireFundation).