Music & Arts

The Bach Society of Minnesota presents J. S. Bach’s The Passion According to St. John on Sunday March 15 at 3:00 pm at Central Lutheran Church, 259 W. Wabasha Street in Winona.

Downloadable poster here: JSB Passion Poster

Paul Boehnke, artistic director, will hold a pre-concert talk one hour prior to the concert. Supertitles (translation shown on a screen above the performers) will be projected to help in the transparency of the text.

Concert tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65+) and $10 for students. Tickets for the concert are available online at Discounts of $5 per ticket (not including student tickets) for groups of 10 or more are available. Please call 651.428.5170 for more information. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The St. John Passion is probably Bach’s most vivid and hair-raising work. The musical presentation is as dramatic and propelling as the most dynamic of operas. First performed on Good Friday in 1724 Bach created a musical masterpiece that went further and deeper than any such work had gone before.

By combining our extraordinary Baroque professional choir (voted one of the top six choruses in Minnesota by CBS MN in 2013) and nationally recognized Baroque artists with our experienced and talented period instrument orchestra, the Bach Society seeks to communicate the drama, intimacy and deeply heartfelt meanings of the Saint John Passion.

To aid in the transparency of this music, Paul Boehnke has chosen to use one instrumentalist on each orchestral part. This allows an agility and responsiveness not available to larger ensembles. It also compliments without overwhelming the twelve-voice choir, which is similar to the forces Bach would have used.

The Bach Society presented the Passion According to St. John in 2012. One audience member commented in a note, “The [St. John Passion] was stunning!! I was on the edge of my seat throughout. Usually in a concert, there’s some period when my attention wanders, etc. Not so this time, I thought the whole piece just rocketed along. And such a range of emotions.”

Artistic director Paul Boehnke is recognized as an expert in the performance of Baroque music and is known for his dramatic and meaningful interpretations of this music. “One of those rare persons who has the capacity to enrich everyone around him”.- Brian O’Connell, The Boston Conservatory. His commentary and writing on Bach’s music has regularly enhanced the concert experiences of audience members. During the week of March 7th Paul Boehnke, the artistic director of the Bach Society of Minnesota, will post the program notes to this concert on the Bach Society of Minnesota’s Blog (

In the anchoring role of Evangelist, as in 2012, is acclaimed tenor William Hite. Praised for his “perfect tone and splendid interpretation,” William brings an intimacy to the Evangelist that draws the listener into the drama of the passion. “… He didn’t perform the music so much as share the profound experience he was having with it …”– David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Concert mistress Jin Kim is an internationally recognized Baroque violinist. Jin was recently recognized in the 2014 book From Hope to Hope as one of 50 notable people native to the province of Julla in South Korea. Jin has led Baroque ensembles and performed as soloist locally, in her native Korea as well as in Europe. She is a regular member of the premier Baroque ensemble, La Petite Bande and founder of Musica Glorifica, an international Baroque ensemble. Her performances have been said “to clean our soul with transparent, beautiful and serene sounds” –Mitsui Akira, Sinbo Monthly Review.

Soloists include:

William Hite, Evangelist

Aaron Larson, Jesus

Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano

Nicole Warner, alto

Roy Heilman, tenor

Jon Ten Brink, bass

Paul Boehnke, director


Bach Society of Minnesota website:

Central Lutheran Church is located at Huff and Wabasha (7th) next to Winona State University. For more information, call 507-452-5156 or visit the church website: