AMN mentors Early Music and Period Instruments Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass Talking about Music Workshops

Bach’s breadcrumbs: listening for interpretive clues

AMN is partnering with San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Continuing Education Division to present the IMAGINE! workshop series. This is a guest post by our creative partner Michael Roest, Associate Dean & Executive Director of Pre-College and Continuing Education.

Mike spoke with the eminent French cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau who will explore Bach’s dark yet beautiful Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor on March 22.

I had the opportunity to chat with Jean-Michel by zoom to learn more about his personal relationship to this particular suite, which started in his early teens, and how it has evolved over time. We also talked about the various “breadcrumbs” that Bach leaves in his music which give us clues “about what to do,” From exploring manuscripts to studying the dance forms, Jean-Michel explains what kind of detective work he does to better understand and perform the suites.

I have seen firsthand how Jean-Michel has helped students–collegiate and pre-collegiate–navigate these suites and start their own lifelong journey with these pieces. Our conversation on Tuesday will undoubtedly help us all find more ways to look at these suites. I look forward to spending time with Jean-Michel and Lolly at the Bowes Center for Performing Arts at SFCM to take a deep dive into the second suite. I hope that you will join us! 

Learn more in this preview video!


Online participants will be part of the conversation, adding questions and comments in real time. And all registered participants will receive a video link to the workshop recording.

Tickets are $20.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 1 – Oliver Herbert

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 5 – Robert Howard

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 2 – Jean-Michel Fonteneau

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 6 – William Skeen

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 4 – Bonnie Hampton

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 3 – Stephen Harrison

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