Is there life out there? It may be some time before we’re making reservations at Milliways (aka The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy ‘trilogy’), but astronomers and scientists are increasingly finding signs of life in the solar system and beyond.
The first concert of our 2023/24 season features Bach’s cantata Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen (Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?) BWV 48, first performed in October 1723.
We are joined by journalist Michael Marshall, who has written frequently for New Scientist, BBC Earth and other publications. In his debut book The Genesis Quest he follows the astonishing story of the century-long scientific effort to understand how life began on Earth and how it might point us to life elsewhere in the universe.
“A dazzling intellectual journey”
Oren Harman (on The Genesis Quest)
Bach, the Universe and Everything is our 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 scientific speaker, alongside choral and instrumental music by other baroque and renaissance composers.
Part of Bach, the Universe and Everything 2023/24
Series music director: Steven Devine