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

Cello Mentor Stephen Harrison on Bach’s Editors

“At every different point in your life, Bach’s music can speak to you in different ways.”

Stephen Harrison has explored the cello suites throughout his career as a solo performer, chamber musician, and teacher. He marvels at how editions of the musical score have changed with the times and how this reflects an ongoing evolution in our understanding of how to play Bach.

“When I studied the third suite with Margaret Rowell, she said, ‘You should get the latest edition’ which at that time was by Pierre Fournier. Of course it’s now not at all current performance practice.

“It’s a lot of fun to think about why editors do what they do, why cellists play as they play, and then how we can get our own individual ideas in there.”

“I tell my students, here are 10 different editions of the Bach Suites from throughout the last 100 years. Look at the variety of ways in which they’ve been approached, and think about the aesthetic that caused these editions to be written this way. And then maybe you’ll find your own way!”

Stephen and his wife and artistic partner Susan Freier are long-time faculty at the summer chamber music workshop for amateur chamber musicians at Scripps College. Working with amateur musicians inspires Stephen, and “one of the things I love is, it’s a renewal of my faith in what I’m doing. It reminds me that there’s a purity (for non-professionals) about loving the music. That is why we are in this! Bach is a great way to remind yourself of that.”

What a great thought – and a great way to end our series!

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *