Bruce Chamberlain

Bruce Chamberlain, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of Arizona

Wednesday, November 22, 2023,


ASA Koffler Great Room and Zoom



Why are some composers of the past still played and enjoyed today?  What sets them apart from the thousands of others whose names and music are forgotten?  Why would a small-town German organist and choir-master have continuously commanded the respect and love of professional and amateur musicians, as well as the general audience of classical music, for over three centuries?

During Lent of 2024 Bach’s monumental St. John Passion will turn 300 years old.  Just the fact that we are still  listening to this music 300 years later is quite amazing in and of itself, but what has changed? We are all very familiar with the original instruments and original performance practice movement that has transformed our appreciation of ancient music, but as Helmut Rilling observed, there are, unfortunately, no original listeners. How then do we with 21st-century ears make sense of this music and why is it still so compelling?

UA Professor Emeritus of Music Bruce Chamberlain’s  lecture will endeavor to provide some insight into these questions/issues, along with creating some context as to the genre of Passion Music and its history.  All of this is in preparation to become more informed listeners during the live performance of the St. John Passion by Tucson’s True Concord Voices and Orchestra in late February, 2024.

Professor Chamberlain spent forty-one years as a Director of Choral Activities at colleges and universities. Over seventy alumni of Dr. Chamberlain’s graduate programs are currently performing and teaching at the university and secondary school level and conducting professional, community, and church choirs on five of the world’s seven continents. He is the retired founding director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Preview by Suzanne Ferguson, Academy Village Volunteer

You can connect to Zoom either by using the following URL: or by opening a browser to and typing in Meeting ID: 954 5651 1620 and Passcode: 85747 

Nov. 22: “ Deep Dive into Classical Masterworks:  Bach’s St. John Passion: 300 Years Later”