Christoph Wolff captivates Library audience

April 28, 2007

Bach Aria Soloists with guest Christoph Wolff, the world’s authority of Bach, captivated their record-breaking filled-to-capacity audience at the Kansas City Public Library. It was a dream come true to have Dr. Wolff in Kansas City…

Matthew Johnson, Janet Kraybill, Elizabeth Suh Lane, Christoph Wolff, Un Chong Christoper

Christoph Wolff, Adams University Professor at Harvard University, joined the Bach Aria Soloists for an unforgettable presentation surrounding Bach and colleagues in the Central Library’s Kirk Hall. Former faculty member of Columbia, Princeton, and Toronto University, Professor Wolff has been the recipient of numerous international prizes, several honorary degrees, and is the Director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, as well as President of the Repertoire International des Sources Musicales. This is his first appearance in Kansas City, and was a sellout.

Accompagnata review

Bach Aria Soloists Present World Premiere: – Lillias Freeman-Hogan

Posted: Mon, Jun 19 2006, 2:04 PM

The Bach Aria Soloists will present a new fusion of classical music and modern dance in their next public performance, called Accompagnata, A Violin Dance. Solo violin selections from Bach’s monumental masterpiece, Six Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin, will be played by Elizabeth Suh Lane and danced by Elizabeth Koeppen in this world premiere event. Lane is the first violin and Artistic Director of Bach Aria Soloists, and Koeppen is the Principal Dancer and Assistant Director of the world-renowned David Parsons Dance Company in New York. The performance will be held at White Recital Hall at UMKC, Saturday, June 3rd at 7:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling 816-235- 6222, or toll free 888-CTO-4TIX. Ticket prices are $19 and $40.

The dance performances will be interspersed with classical and baroque selections by Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Francoeur, performed by the Bach Aria ensemble, or by duets and soloists of the group. The full presentation will be a thrilling evening of rich music and exciting performances.

Creating Accompagnata, A Violin Dance with Elizabeth Koeppen was a collaborative effort that Ms. Lane has really enjoyed. “Bach’s music is so danceable, it seemed natural to bring a dancer into it,” she says. As they rehearsed together, Ms. Lane explains, they both kept working new ideas into the show. The end result is synergistic, far better than the component parts of solo violin and modern dance.

Elizabeth Koeppen has toured the world with the David Parsons Dance Company. Ms. Koeppen has staged works by Mr. Parsons on numerous companies including the Milwaukee Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Repertory Dance Theater, New York City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Louisville Ballet and Roland Petit’s Ballet National de Marseille. As the featured guest performer with Bach Aria Soloists for the Accompagnata premiere, Ms. Koeppen will bring a sensational new dimension to Ms. Lane’s beautiful chamber sound.

Don’t mentally connect the blasé string ensemble in the movie “Titanic” with this group. These musicians love what they do, specializing in intimate concerts that connect with the listeners personally. As individual musicians, the members of the Bach Aria Soloists perform as soloists and clinicians all over the world, but at home in Kansas City, they most enjoy their series of “Hauskonzerts”.

“Chamber music was originally written to be performed in a chamber – in someone’s home, to entertain their guests,” says director Ms. Lane. “The audience enjoys a friendly gathering, with cocktails before the performance and a full reception afterward. The musicians are right in among the audience; sometimes, they are literally sitting at our feet.” She says that many of their Hauskonzert patrons have also attended their public concerts, and usually say they enjoy the home-based experience more. “I’ve played in some of the finest concert halls in the world, but chamber music with a small ensemble is so much better in a social, intimate setting.”

The Bach Aria Soloists are individually some of the finest concert musicians in America, but they all call Kansas City home. Elizabeth Suh Lane and Un Chong Christopher, mezzo-soprano, have known each other and performed together since their school days here. Ms. Lane has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Since her return to KC, she has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Christopher is a professor at UMKC and Rockhurst. Rebecca Lloyd, soprano, should be familiar to patrons of the Lyric Opera and Kansas City Chorale. She has been featured soloist with orchestras throughout the US, including the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and the Kansas City Symphony. Janet Kraybill is the principal organist for the Community of Christ World Headquarters in Independence, playing on two of the best instruments in the world, but she often plays harpsichord as well as organ for Bach Aria Soloists. She has concertized as pianist and organist throughout the US, Russia, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Martin Storey, the British-born cellist, used to play for the London Symphony Orchestra, but has now made Kansas City his home. Now teaching at Park University, Mr. Martin, as well as the others, continues to work in many solo engagements and teaching clinics worldwide.

Visit the Bach Aria Soloists’ website,, for more details about the artists, the Hauskonzerts, and Accompagnata, A Violin Dance.