Photography by Robert Catto



Bach: Mass in B minor

What would be your “desert island” Bach?

Here at Sydney Philharmonia, we’d nominate his Mass in B minor. In just under two hours, this astonishing choral work does it all. On the one hand, it’s a literal portfolio of Bach’s tremendous musical accomplishment – a virtuoso display of style and taste, from the academic to the fashionable, wonderfully varied and yet completely coherent. Easily the most impressive job application in the history of music.

But it’s more than that. When Bach eventually completed the Mass in B minor, he signed it “D.S.G.” – Deo Soli Gloria. This music was a celebration of an ancient liturgical tradition – an ecumenical setting of the Latin Mass by a deeply devout Lutheran inspired to the glory of God alone.

It was also completely impractical: too long for use in church and calling for brilliant musicians – it’s as if every singer and instrumentalist has a solo part to play. But that’s exactly what makes it so satisfying in the concert hall. And in her first concert as Associate Music Director, Elizabeth Scott will conduct the Chamber Singers – a precision ensemble of singers – accompanied by our own period instrument orchestra for a virtuoso performance to do justice to Bach’s supreme musical craft and spiritual inspiration.

Saturday 16 April | 3pm
Sydney Town Hall


Deborah CHEETHAM & Matthew DOYLE Tarimi Nulay – Long time living here*
Johann Sebastian BACH Mass in B minor

* Commissioned for our 100 Minutes of New Australian Music project


Elizabeth Scott conductor
Celeste Lazarenko soprano
Anna Dowsley mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Abernethy tenor
Simon Lobelson baritone
Chamber Singers
Sydney Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra


Premium $112 | A $92 | B $71 | C $50
Concessions $101 | A $83| B $64 | C $45
A booking fee of $8.50 per transaction applies.



  • All SPC singers, musicians and staff are double vaccinated.
  • Audiences will be required to QR code and show proof of double vaccination upon entry to the Sydney Town Hall.
  • Audiences will be required to wear masks throughout the performance. If this changes we will inform patrons as soon as possible.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available.
  • A digital program book will be available on this page a week prior to the concert. A limited number of printed program books will be available for $5 each at the concert.