The Paths of Bach - A musical journey in the tracks of Johann Sebastian Bach

May, 11 - 17, 2024 | Arnstadt, Dornheim, Weißensee

In 1705, Johann Sebastian Bach was twenty years old. As a young organist from a modest background, he wanted to perfect his musical education - and so he set off from Arnstadt to Lübeck to meet the composer Dietrich Buxtehude, an undisputed master of his craft. Only a few details are known about his journey of more than 400 kilometres, which must have been partly on foot along the Roman salt road. For Bach, however, it represented a personal and artistic awakening that would characterise his entire future work.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary (in 2026), the French ensemble pygmalion would like to embark on a similarly formative journey. To return to Bach's roots and share a unique collective and artistic experience, Raphaël Pichon and his ensemble will follow the paths of the young Bach in an ambitious project:
In three sections, Pygmalion will undertake a musical journey partly on foot and partly by bicycle, including concerts as well as encounter projects. The project offers performers and audiences alike a unique insight into the musician's profession and Bach's work in order to grasp its vitality, meaning and significance for the present day.

The paths of Bach in detail

Thursday, 9 May 2024
Arnstadt | Oberkirche | 10:30–12:00 am
public rehearsal

Saturday, 11 May 2024
Arnstadt | Oberkirche | 6 pm
concert: Welt, gute Nacht

Sunday, 12 May 2024
Dornheim | St. Bartholomäus | 5 pm
concert: Hochzeitsmusik
(Take a walk from Arnstadt | Bach-onument | 3:30 pm)

Monday, 13 May 2024
Arnstadt | from hotel Stadtbrauerei | 11 am
Take a walk from Erfurt to the castle Molsdorf with a small lunch



Tuesday, 14 May 2024
Erfurt | from InterCity hotel | 10 am
Bicycle tour to Weißensee

Weißensee | Kulturkirche | 3-4 pm
public rehearsal

Wednesday, 15 May 2024
Weißensee | Kulturkirche | 6 pm
concert: Licht

Thursday, 16 May 2024 (only for customers with festival pass)
Sondershausen | from Residenzschloss | 4 pm
Bicycle tour to Wolkramshausen

Wolkramshausen | Hue de Grais
musical park festival

Friday, 17 May 2024 
Arnstadt | Bachkirche | 6 pm
concert: Missae Breves 

Supported and accompanied by

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Experience concerts at home - authentic and digital


Ten places, three festivals, hundreds of artists – and a streaming platform! Together with our partners from Leipzig and Koethen, we invite you to experience our concerts also online. Bach’s music performed at the historic places of his live, available for you at home.