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Bach's Christmas Oratorio

Cantatas I, II, and VI & Cantata 147, part I

In Collaboration with VocalEssence

The annual performance of the Christmas Oratorio has become a staple in the cultural life of the Twin Cities. The renewed artistic partnership with VocalEssence guarantees musical excitement, and a stellar vocal performance in combination with the sparkling sound of the BSM orchestra.

Philip Brunelle & Matthias Maute, conductors

Nicholas Chalmers, Evangelist

VocalEssence Ensemble Singers

Orchestra of the Bach Society of Minnesota


Tickets: Regular $35-45 | Student $19.5-24.5

December 15, 2023, Friday | 7:30 PM

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

900 Summit Avenue, St. Paul

December 16, 2023, Saturday | 4:00 PM

Westwood Lutheran Church

9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park

Bach's Christmas Oratorio

Philip Brunelle, Conductor | Artistic Director of VocalEssence

Philip Brunelle, artistic director and founder of VocalEssence, is an internationally-renowned conductor, choral scholar, and visionary. Philip has conducted symphonies, choral festivals, and operas on six continents. He holds five honorary degrees, served 9 years as Vice President of IFCM (International Federation for Choral Music), and has been recognized for his commitment to choral music by the governments of Norway, Hungary, Sweden, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Philip is also Organist-Choirmaster at Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis.

Mattthia Maute

Matthias Maute, Conductor |

Artistic Director of Bach Society of Minnesota

Matthias Maute joined Bach Society of Minnesota as Artistic Director in 2016. The Montreal-based conductor, composer, and recorder and flute soloist is founder of Montreal-based Ensemble Caprice, an orchestra he formed in 1993 that performs throughout the world. The award-winning artist was honored with two JUNO Awards and in 2020 received the OPUS Award for Musical Event of the Year in recognition of the Mini-Concerts Sante he created during the pandemic, delivering 9,000 Mini-Concerts to 70,000 people in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada while providing 3,000 hires of professional singers and musicians during difficult times.

In 2019 Matthias was named Artistic Director of Ensemble Vocal Arts-Quebec. He has earned international praise for his artistic approach, presenting lush, vibrant performances and recordings of Early Music, and occasionally weaving other musical genres into his work. The New York Times described Ensemble Caprice as being “an ensemble that encourages the listener to rehear the world.” Matthias’ recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos juxtaposed with his own arrangements of Preludes from Shostakovich’s Op. 87 was praised by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross as standing out “for its fleet, characterful approach” and “its fresh, vibrant colors.”

In October 2022, Matthias and the Bach Society of Minnesota presented the U.S. Premiere of Vivaldi’s Four Nations, a suite of concertos created for the recorder that were lost after the composer’s death and reconstructed by Matthias. His compositions are published by Breitkopf & Hartel, Amadeus, Moeck, and Carus. Forty-nine movements of Matthias’ compositions are featured in 49 videos on Matthias has made more than 20 recordings on the Analekta, Vanguard Classics, Bella Musica, Dorian, Bridge, and ATMA Classique labels. He is regularly invited to perform at major international festivals and in 2023, his Ensemble Caprice orchestra performed in South Africa, Finland, and Norway as well as Canada and the U.S.

Nicholas Chalmers, Evangelist

Nicholas Chalmers, tenor, has sung with The Bach Society of Minnesota, The Rose Ensemble, La Grande Bande, Glorious Revolution Baroque, and Transept. Recent solo engagements include the Oratorio Society, Bach Roots, the Schubert Club, Border CrosSing, and Lyra Baroque. 

VocallEssence Ensemble Singers

VocalEssence Ensemble Singers

The VocalEssence Ensemble Singers have established an international reputation because of their extensive catalog of recordings and broad range of unique repertoire. This chamber choir, whose members hail from a wide variety of professions, is bound together by their skilled artistry to create what The Times of London has described as a “flawless” sound.

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