The highly anticipated Bachfest 2019 was held on Wednesday 25 September as part of the College’s 400th anniversary celebrations. Thomas Trotter, one of the world’s leading concert organists and authority on the music of J.S. Bach, was the special guest for the day which began in Christ’s Chapel in the morning with a masterclass. Students from the Foundation Schools, friends and guests were fortunate to listen to Thomas demonstrate and talk about the organ and the music of J.S. Bach. This was followed by an organ recital played by Thomas Trotter, the programme for which included music by J.C. Bach, the youngest son of Johann Sebastian, and two 18th century London based composers, Pepusch and William Russell. The recital concluded with a performance of the magnificent Passacaglia BWV 582 by J.S. Bach.
The Bachfest concluded with the 19th Thwaites Bach Competition, which was held in the Old Library. Eleven boys took part and the adjudicating panel, chaired by Thomas Trotter, was hugely impressed with the standard of performance. After a careful deliberation, the adjudicators awarded the first prize to pianist Devin Liu for a thoughtful and technically accomplished performance of the Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier. The runner-up and commended prizes were also awarded to two pianists: Alex Cheung and Finlay Johnston respectively, for their performances of another two Preludes and Fugues (Bb from Book 1 and A minor from Book 2). Members of the College community were able to listen to the three prize winners the following day at a Lunchtime Concert in the Lower Hall. Many congratulations to all boys who took part in this exciting competition.