Meet Anne Bach


Left & Right Images: © 2017 Elliot Mandel

How long have you been playing with Music of the Baroque, and what do you like most about playing with us?
Anne Bach: This is my first season as principal oboe. It’s such a collegial group. These are people I love to work with and learn from—and also go to lunch with!

What other ensembles do you perform with?
AB: I play with Chicago Philharmonic and Joffrey Ballet, and in the summers, the Grant Park Orchestra.

What’s your favorite Baroque piece?
AB: I love the trio sonatas of Jan Dismas Zelenka, a contemporary of Bach. They're full of loopy run-on phrases and crunchy bits. He wrote six; they’re all great, but number five is especially nice.

What’s your favorite piece for oboe (or one that features the oboe)?
AB: Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors has great oboe lines, and for team oboe playing, Bach’s orchestral suites.

What are you looking forward to about performing Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin?
AB: To be surrounded by friends and wonderful colleagues playing one of the chestnuts of the oboe repertoire—what a pleasure!

What’s it like working with Nicholas Kraemer?
AB: Great fun! He is all about style and gesture, which energizes the music. Also, he uses fun words to describe what he’s looking for. He once asked that a passage be “a little more agricultural.”

What’s one thing the audience should listen for in Bach’s concerto?
AB: The oboe and violin make a beautiful pair, and the second movement is exceptionally beautiful as the lines overlap and swap, with some juicy suspensions, too. (Listen here: )

What music are you listening to right now?
AB: Quite honestly, I listen to podcasts more than music. Right now, I am working my way through 99% Invisible—it looks at the designed environment and the unseen forces that shape it.

Are you related to J.S. Bach in any way (that you know of)?
AB: Well, it’s my married name so certainly no blood relation. On my husband’s side, who knows? It would make a great story!

Deep dish or thin crust?
AB: Gotta be thin, eaten with a fork and knife. Confession: I add salt.

Don't miss Anne Bach in Two's Company—Baroque Double Concertos on November 19 at the North Shore Center (sold out) and November 20 at the Harris Theater!