A Life with Bach

Helmuth Rilling turns ninety

Helmuth Rilling, who celebrates his 90th birthday on May 29, has been described as a “bridge builder” and the “Karajan of baroque music”. In 1954, the church musician founded the "Gächinger Kantorei" in a small town in the Swabian Alb which gave concerts all over the world under Rilling's direction and was to become a legend. In 1981, the International Bach Academy was founded in Stuttgart, an organization that created a basis for Rilling and his diverse activities, but was also a powerhouse, think tank, concert venue, and a centre of education. Rilling handed over the direction of the Bach Academy to his successor Hans-Christoph Rademann in 2012, but continued to be involved.

In 2013, Bärenreiter-Henschel published Rilling’s book “Ein Leben mit Bach. Gespräche mit Hanspeter Krellmann”. Here, the Swabian super star tells of his musical life with Bach - and other composers. He provides insights into his diverse work and conveys his thoughts on music and the fascination of making music in a vivid and informal way. (Photo: Holger Schneider)