Organ Conference

Call for proposals:
59th Annual Organ Conference

Building Bach: His Foundations and Futures

September 29-October 1, 2019
Deadline for proposals: March 1, 2019

Johann Sebastian Bach is often portrayed as a solitary colossus, dwarfing his contemporaries and casting a long shadow on his successors. This conference provides an opportunity to assess Bach within the context of his foundational artistic influences, his exchanges with his contemporaries, and his influence on later composers, extending to present-day projects.

The University of Michigan invites proposals for Conference events exploring Bach and his artistic context in the disciplines of organ, harpsichord, carillon and sacred music. Proposals for presentations in diverse formats are encouraged, including performances, lectures and lecture-recitals. Some possible topics include:

  • Composers
  • Performers
  • Instruments
  • Performance practices
  • Reception history of Bach works
  • Music and culture
  • Innovative analytical techniques (for example, big data research)

Proposed events should be 50 minutes in length. A stipend of $700 is available for each presentation selected, which may be shared by collaborating presenters. Presenters will be responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangements. Available performance instruments include the Fisk organ in the style of Gottfried Silbermann in Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, the E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner organ in Hill Auditorium, the carillons in Burton Tower and Lurie Tower, and a variety of harpsichords.

To submit a proposal, please email the following by March 1, 2019 to James Kibbie at

  • Name(s) of presenter(s)
  • Category (performance, lecture, lecture-recital, etc.)
  • 1-paragraph description
  • Optional: supporting materials (recordings, publications, videos, etc.)
  • Brief biography of presenter(s)
  • Equipment or instrument needed, if any