International conductor at helm of Bach performance in PJ


Chin is known for his energetic conducting style.

Chin is known for his energetic conducting style.

THE Lutheran Church will be presenting a two-night music extravaganza featuring Malaysian-born international music conductor David Chin (pic) at the Luther Centre, Petaling Jaya.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest musical work – Mass in B Minor – will be performed at the concert on July 22 and 23 held in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by Martin Luther.

Known for his charismatic personality and energetic conducting style, Chin has swiftly emerged as one of the rising conductors and musical leaders in the next generation of globe-trotting musicians.

He currently serves as the artistic director of the Hong Kong Bach Festival, Malaysia Bach Festival, the East Malaysia Bach Cantata Singers and Orchestra, as well as principal conductor of Toronto Chinese Evangelical Church Musicians Association in Canada.

From 2012 to 2017, he served as director of Choral Activities at Roberts Wesleyan College in New York, United States. In addition, he was also the chief executive officer and artistic director of the premiere performance of Bach’s St John Passion in Malaysia.

“It is an honour for me to share with fellow Malaysians this beautiful work by Bach, who was a devoted Lutheran all his life and a keen follower of Martin Luther. He had set many of his cantatas based on Luther’s hymn tune.

“For about five consecutive years, Bach composed a new cantata each week for Sunday services and Mass in B-Minor was completed towards the end of Bach’s life. It is arguably the best composition by Bach who was hailed as the ‘Father of Western Music’ as he innovatively combined both the older and newer musical styles of his time,” said Chin.

Echoing his views, Lutheran Church Malaysia bishop Aaron Yap said: “Though Bach and Luther were born 200 years apart, Bach’s compositions were greatly influenced by his faith and embodied a Lutheran theology of work. Celebrating 500 years of Reformation through music, especially Bach’s Mass in B Minor, indeed is a fitting tribute to both these greats.”

Luther, a 16th century German priest, composer and professor of theology, had written the Ninety-five Theses that sparked a revolution which transformed millions of Christians’ belief in God.

Today, 500 years later, Lutheran churches around the globe commemorate the inauguration of the Lutheran faith and doctrine as well as promote inter-faith unity and harmony.

Organisers of the upcoming musical production in Petaling Jaya are expecting an audience of about 1,600.

Chin said the last performance of Mass in B Minor in Malaysia was in 2009, performed by the Yin Qi Choir under the baton of Reverend Lee Chong Min.

“This time the performance will also feature Psalm 46, a newly commissioned work inspired by Martin Luther’s chorale, composed by Caeleb Tee, a Malaysian composer who recently graduated from the Westminster Choir College.

“We are looking forward to share these inspirational hymns and tunes with everyone,” Chin said.

Tickets are upon donation of RM80 per person. For details, call 03-7956 5992 or visit www.lcm.org.my