Bach’s birthday concert this weekend

Jonathan Dimmock

BLUE HILL — Bach’s 333rd birthday will be fittingly celebrated with organist Jonathan Dimmock and the Blue Hill Bach Chorus performing selections of the composer’s “Clavierübung III” at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church.

The concert also commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Presented by Blue Hill Bach, the chorus will introduce Bach’s works for keyboard by singing chorales based on hymns by Martin Luther. Also on the program will be the Concerto in C Major, BWV 594, arranged by Bach on a work by Antonio Vivaldi, and pieces by Bert Matter and John Karl Hirten.

Currently living in San Francisco, Dimmock has the privilege to have been the only American Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey. He also has served three American cathedrals: New York’s St. John the Divine, St. Mark’s in Minneapolis and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Dimmock is the principal organist at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, organist for the San Francisco Symphony and director of music at Congregation Sherith Israel.

Before the concert, Dimmock will give a lecture/demonstration about the chorale and the role of congregational singing in the Reformation. Audience members will be encouraged to join the guest speaker and members of the Blue Hill Bach in singing easy four-part chorales.

Directed by Stephen Hammer, Blue Hill Bach was founded in 2011 with the mission of presenting historically informed performances, recordings and educational programs that explore vocal and instrumental music of the Baroque and other repertoire demonstrating the place of Baroque music in music history.

Tickets for Bach’s birthday cost $25 per person and $10 per student. Youth under 18 go free. The St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church is located at 330 Hinckley Ridge Road in Blue Hill. To reserve seats, call (207)613-5454 and visit