Google+ Voices of Music - Bach Competition 2017

Bach Competition 2017: The Bach Cello Suites

First Round applications due May 19th, 2017

Finals: Live performance at the Boston Early Music Festival, Friday, June 16th, 2017, 1-3 pm

Next season, the Early Music ensemble Voices of Music will film all of the Bach Cello Suites. Five of the best cellists in the world have already been selected; the sixth spot will be awarded to the winner of our 2017 Bach Competition. The suites will be filmed and audio recorded using our proprietary, 4K ultra high definition format; our videos are viewed by millions of people around the world on our digital media channels.

The competition is open to any musician who is starting out on her or his career. You must be enrolled in College or a Graduate program, or have finished your studies no earlier than July, 2014 (three years prior to the competition). Preference will be given to musicians starting out on their careers. The first round is by online video submission, and all applications, without exception, are due May 19th, 2017. The finalists will appear at the Boston Early Music Festival, Friday, June 16th, 2017 from 1-3 pm, when the competition winner will be selected by a panel of experts in the field.

The winner of the competition will appear in concert in the San Francisco Bay Area where the film will be made. A venue in Europe may be provided if it is more convenient for all parties. The winner will receive a concert and recording fee of $1500, only payable at the completion of the project, as well as a travel allowance not exceeding $500. Finalists are responsible for their own travel to the Boston Early Music Festival for the final round.

This competition is only for the Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008. Please note that the competition is open only to musicians who play baroque cello—no entries performed on modern style cello will be accepted.

Please read the following carefully.

There are two rounds: the first round is a video submission of two movements from the 2nd Suite. The finalists will be chosen from these videos. The second and final round is a live performance at the Boston Early Music Festival on June 16th. The winner will be announced by the panel at the competition.

How to enter: the application is simple: Fill out this form, which gives us your contact information and a short resume, agree to the conditions, pay the $25 application fee using the online button below, and upload a video of your performance of any two movements from Suite No. 2 in D Minor. Email the form with the link to your video to Note that Chrome browser will allow you to fill out the form directly, or you may download it and fill it out with a PDF reader.

You may upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo, and you may optionally choose to have your video "unlisted" if you wish only the panel to view it. Each movement must be filmed using one camera angle, and each movement must be a complete take. No videos that have been edited or change camera angles in the middle of a take will be accepted, but you may reset the camera between individual movements.

Almost any recent-model smartphone will easily and automatically capture the high quality video suitable for this competition: Voices of Music has tested the top smartphones here. You may also, for a nominal fee, typically $50-$75, rent a professional camera from a rental house such as LensRentals, but your performance will be judged solely on musical merits and not in any way on the quality of the video. If you have already filmed a version of the 2nd suite, you may submit this as long as it does not change camera angles.

If you are using a smartphone, we recommend you have a friend assist you with the video, as the primary camera faces away from the screen, and we also recommend an inexpensive clip or stand for the phone to hold it in place.

We encourage you to send in your submission early; if there is a minor problem with your application, this may give you time to correct it.


Voices of Music High Definition video, including our season preview. Just click the play button :)


Click the gear in the lower right part of the image and set the resolution to 720p or higher for HD Video.

Click the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner to see the complete playlist of out latest videos.




Application Fee $25

Or send check to

Voices of Musc 127 Downey St. San Francisco CA 94117









Voices of Music performs both renaissance and baroque music, drawing upon the many and varied sources for historical performance practice. Based in San Francisco, our venue in St. Mark's Lutheran provides one of the finest concert experiences in the Bay Area. Performances are one on a part, with an emphasis on combining both instrumental and vocal styles of interpretation and ornamentation. Our ensemble is the first Early Music Ensemble in America to broadcast highlights from our performances in High Definition Video. In addition to the concert series in the San Francisco Bay Area, Voices of Music sponsors the Young Artists Concerts, which are specifically designed to work with the next generation of singers and musicians. Voices of Music is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) with a wide range of educational and performance outreach programs.

  Voices of Music now has over Twenty-six Million online viewers and 44,000 subscribers!