The California Bach Society, a 30-voice chamber chorus, was recently awarded "Best Baroque Performance" by San Francisco Classical Voice for its 2016 production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Founded in 1971, CBS has specialized in historically informed performances since 1998 and has established a reputation for its interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque choral music. The appointment of artistic director Dr. Paul Flight in 2006 has resulted in highly successful concert seasons. Dr. Flight has enthralled audiences and critics with his thoughtful and refreshing programming, and has become well respected for bringing lesser-known Baroque masterworks to Bay Area stages. Under his direction, the chorus has garnered critical acclaim.
In February 2013, Leon Chisholm of San Francisco Classical Voice wrote: "In recent years, the California Bach Society has become a prospector of Baroque gold. Its concerts have brought forth exquisite, rarely heard works by forgotten masters from the lost frontier, to the delight of its audiences." In 2016 another SFCV reviewer raved, "California Bach Society delivers a sublime St. Matthew Passion."