Founded in 1921, The Netherlands Bach Society is the oldest Early Music ensemble in the Netherlands, and possibly in the world. Yet along with the musicians, its artistic director Jos van Veldhoven is still continually in search of contemporary ways of presenting this music, whether it be the annual performances of the St. Matthew Passion in the spectacular cathedral in Naarden, other works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), or music by his predecessors, successors, contemporaries and fellow spirits.
NBS' programs are elegantly conceived and give a refreshing view of the various musical styles from Schütz/Monteverdi to Haydn/Mozart, as well as of the central composer Bach himself. The flexibility of the ensemble makes it possible to perform works from both secular and sacred repertoires with a great variety of forces. In the concerts, top priority is given to beauty, emotion, quality and authentic experience.
Besides working with principal conductor Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society also performs with leading early music specialists from the Netherlands and abroad, such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul McCreesh, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Masaaki Suzuki.
In order to reinforce the authentic experience, the concerts are supplemented where necessary by ancillary programming, pre-concert discussions, workshops, exhibitions and book publications. NBS' community engagement activities amplify its musical mission and have received several awards (e.g. Euro Media Award and the Classical Music Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD)).
The Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven have an extensive discography, including recordings of the Great Organ Mass with the organist Leo van Doeselaar and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Illustrated editions of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor have been published in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent.