Bachfest Malaysia (Malaysia Bach Festival) was founded in 2015 by Artistic Director David Chin to promote the music of J.S. Bach in Malaysia and beyond through performance and education. David is well known to the Rochester music community from his time here leading many performances, focusing on music by Bach, while he was a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music.
For two years, the musicians of Bachfest Malaysia had been looking forward to performing at the St. Thomas Church during Bachfest Leipzig 2020 in June. Since the festival planned for this year has now been postponed to 2022, they decided to make a virtual performance recording of a complete cantata – Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62 – one of the three cantatas which they were going to perform at the festival.
Here’s the opening chorus:
They are planning to record more of this music over time. They also were able to perform virtually with Ton Koopman for a chorale from Bach's St. John Passion, which was broadcast live on Good Friday, combined with performances from the Ottawa Bach Choir, Bach Stiftung of St. Gallen, and the St. Thomas Boys Choir.
You can follow Bachfest Malaysia on Facebook to keep up with the music they continue to share with the world.
If you have a few minutes, and perhaps a few tissues, I would also recommended watching this beautiful video they put together earlier this year with friends from around the world, including several musicians with connections to Rochester.
We will continue to make music
despite the challenges ahead of us;
We may be apart from each other,
but we are connected through music.