California Bach Society is a 30-voice chamber choir specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music, presenting four concerts each year in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Berkeley. Welcome to our 48th season, 2018-2019. We start the year with JS Bach’s Missa Brevis in A; then mark the holidays with 500 years of an Italian Christmas. In the winter, we present Rachmaninoff’s stunning All Night Vigil and finish the year with two Italian masters in Vienna. 

Our Summer Choral Workshop

Come to Zimmermann’s Coffeehouse!
Saturday, August 18
Buy tickets online

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BFX Main Stage Concert

June 3

SFEMS Berkeley Festival & Exhibition


Learn more about the Berkeley Festival at

Un musicien de premier ordre

Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Sun, June 3, 2018, 7:30pm
     St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft, Berkeley

Heralded by the San Francisco press for its “dazzling” and “sublime” performances, California Bach Society showcases Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s best choral works. Artistic director Paul Flight leads the award-winning 30-voice chorus, vocal soloists, flutes, and a full consort of viols in the poignant Litanies de la Vierge and the splendid Missa Assumpta est Maria

Charpentier wrote the Litanies de la Vierge early in his career, while in the employ of Mlle de Guise. The exquisite work, for six voices with two independent, treble gamba parts over it, was specifically written for Mlle de Guise’s house ensemble, in which Charpentier himself sang the haute-contre, or high tenor part. 

At the end of his life, Charpentier held the most prestigious choir director post in all of France: “maître de musique” of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. It was for the choir that rehearsed and performed in this stunning church that he wrote the Missa Assumpta est Maria, nowadays widely considered his most beautiful mass setting. Artistic director Paul Flight says about this masterwork: “It is serene and exciting in turns, and has such a lovely scoring with the flutes.”

With vocal soloists Samuel Faustine, tenor; Timothy Silva, tenor; and Clayton Moser, bass.  Instrumentalists joining the 30 voice, award-winning chorus for these performances are Vicki Melin and Alissa Roedig, Baroque flutes; Marie Dalby Szuts and Amy Brodo, treble gambas; Julie Jeffrey, alto gamba; Roy Whelden, tenor gamba, Lynn Tetenbaum, bass gamba; and Yuko Tanaka, organ.

A Preview of our next season!

Tickets and Season Subscriptions will go on sale in June.

Oct 19–21, 2018

J.S. BACH  Cantata 198 & Missa Brevis in A Major

Nov 30–Dec 2, 2018

BUON NATALE  Five centuries of Italian Christmas music

Mar 1–3, 2019

RACHMANINOFF  The All Night Vigil 

Apr 26–28, 2019

I MAESTRI ITALIANI A VIENNA  Valentini and Bertali


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 The choir, Fall 2017.  Photo by Will Toft.

The choir, Fall 2017.  Photo by Will Toft.