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Bach, the Universe and Everything: Stepping on to the Cosmic Path

In a Universe with hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars, how do we get out of bed every morning?
London, Kings Place £19.50 + booking fee Book Now



WALTHER Chorale Prelude ‘Das alte Jahr vergangen ist’

TALLIS A new commandment

JS BACH Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn, BWV 152 (Step upon the path of faith)

JS BACH Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 288

TELEMANN Trio Sonata in F for recorder, viola da gamba & continuo (TWV 42:F3)

Sofia Ticciati soprano

Hugo Hernan-Wilson bass

Chris Lintott guest speaker

Modern cosmology describes a Universe on incomprehensible scales, with hundreds of billions of galaxies containing more stars than there are grains of sand on Earth, and our lives as a brief moment in a vast cosmic story. Inspired by Bach’s invitation to step upon the path of faith, astronomer Chris Lintott explores cosmic vastness as a source of awe and wonder, and explains how we tiny humans might be special after all.

One of Bach’s early cantatas, Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn hovers dramatically between dark and light, featuring solos for high recorder, oboe and (unusually in the cantatas) viola d’amore.

Chris Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he runs the Zooniverse citizen science project. He is best known as the presenter of the BBC’s long-running Sky at Night show, and as an author whose work appears in the London Review of Books and elsewhere.


Bach, the Universe and Everything is a concert series with a difference. Guided by the work of JS Bach, composer and intergalactic genius, our mission is to explore the human desire to better understand our place in the cosmos through his 200 cantatas.

Each concert is built around a Bach cantata and a talk from a guest speaker, alongside choral and instrumental music by other baroque and renaissance composers. The concert lasts approximately one hour.

In 2022-23 we look to the stars as six eminent scientists, writers and broadcasters explore why humans started looking beyond our planet in the first place, space exploration and what lessons we can learn for life on Earth from future discoveries.

"He was wrong to think he could now forget that the big, hard, oily, dirty, rainbow-hung Earth on which he lived was a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot lost in the unimaginable infinity of the Universe."
Douglas Adams: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy