Bach B Minor Mass Project 2016

A Dream Came True: a message from Maarten and Madhu van Leer

Dear friends,

In deep gratitude we look back to our wonderful journey with Bach’s B minor Mass to the Holy Land of the Prophets.

Prayer for Peace, Nabi Musa, 12.29.2016

Prayer for Peace, Nabi Musa, 12.29.2016

This journey had so many layers. The encounter with the city of Jerusalem in which so much since millennia comes together; meeting the people, the holy places and the special scenery; bringing-ourselves-in-shape for to become a capable instument for this uplifting music, which through us and through our open hearts could become a prayer.

Yes, the music has reached and moved the audience; from some letters of thanks and spontaneous responses we know, that these concerts did raise hope and did create a vision of harmony. In this way, that could be fulfilled, which so far had been a deep wish for myself and for my wife Madhu.

Thanks to all, who made this possible as participants or donators.

In my role as conductor I was more than content with the musical performance of our ensemble: The sound of the choir was wonderful, the playing together of the ensemble was fine-tuned and we were able still to improve technically during the three performances. Orchester and choir became a unity in sound. It was a great joy for me to make music with all of the participants.

We thank the group of pilgrims and fellow travelers, who supported this project through their presence. Thanks to the team, supporting and assisting us: Felix Baritsch and Qadira Brigitte Büsken, with whom we founded last spring the “Initiative Music for Peace and Mutual Understanding”. Thanks to Virginie Boudier and Siddiq Winfried Henkes, who planned and ran our journey so carefully. A big thank you to our committed vocal and instrumental soloists! Special thanks go out to the BDLO Nord e.V., which supported us so open heartedly and generously. Also a thank to Tajalli Annie Lacuisse-Chabot from “L’Universel”, Suresnes, Paris, who greatly helped with the inviting of the religious representatives. Heartfelt thanks to Ta’lim Bruno Knobel, who accompanied us in Israel and the West Banks with his camera. We may eagerly await the book of Veronika Schenk, who plans to publish her personal impressions about the journey.

A big thank you to Keith Surridge, who is about to finish the documentary film. The film is captivating, with pictures of the journey, interviews and fragments of the concerts. Saturday before easter, April 15th at 8 pm, the film “Celebrating the Divine” will be presented to the public for the first time by Keith Surridge. This will be during the Easter Retreat led by Pir Zia Inayat Khan, April 14th to 17th in Gersfeld, Germany. Venue: Stadthalle Gersfeld, Schloßplatz 9, 36129 Gersfeld.

You are cordially invited to come and we are looking forward to meeting you there!

With heartfelt greetings,
Maarten and Madhu van Leer


Performance News:

  • Have a look at the trailer for the documentary “Celebrating the Divine”. The premiere of the film will be at the Easter reteat with Pir Zia, on April 15th at Gersfeld, Germany.
  • For post-project updates on the Israel performances, click here.
  • A wonderful video about the B-minor Mass in Israel is online with records of the rehearsal in the Zenith Camp 2016, the concert in Olivone 2016, the concert in Dachau 1996 (with Pir Vilayat), and photos of Jerusalem.
  • You can find information and photos from the September 13th performance at Dachau here.


Israel Performances:

  • Israel performances – download flyer for more information
    • December 28, 2016, 7:30pm: Jerusalem, Auditorium YMCA, King David Str.
    • December 30, 2016, 6:00pm: Bethlehem, Dar Al Nadwa International Center
    • January 1, 2017, 4:00pm: Nazareth, Salesian Church of Jesus the Adolescent


2017-05-29T17:28:38+00:00 News|