Welcome to the Tilford Bach Festival website

The Tilford Bach Festival is an annual celebration of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and this year we are particularly proud to be celebrating our 71st anniversary.

Our aim has always been to attract the very best of British & International musicians & performers while also promoting young talent about to start their music careers.

The festival is traditionally held in All Saint’s Tilford, a beautiful Victorian church set in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Surrey & Hampshire border. It has a unique and relaxed atmosphere where we encourage performers to meet and mix with the audience during intervals and after each concert or recital.


In the future we will be introducing talks highlighting key events in Bach’s life & music, those who resided in the village such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote ‘Nigel of Tilford’ here after the success of Sherlock Holmes, or Prime Minister Lloyd George and many others who have enjoyed the special environment, which is Tilford.

Walks along the river and in the areas used in films such as Gladiator, Robin Hood and Skyfall will also be highlighted in the future, to ensure those of a more adventurous nature can stretch their legs before coming to the festival.

You are all very welcome!

Save the Date!

2023 Tilford Bach Festival – June 16th to 18th





This year’s Tilford Bach Festival celebrates the 300th anniversary one of the great landmarks in the life of the composer – his arrival as Kantor of the Thomasschule at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where he remained until his death in 1750.

The post became vacant on the death of Johann Kuhnau the previous year. Leipzig at the time was a major trading and cultural centre, its university already more than 300 years old, and the post of Kantor was an important one, carrying with it additional responsibilities as Director of Music in the town’s two principal churches, the Nikolaikirche and the Paulinerkirche.

But as with many things related to the life and career of Johann Sebastian Bach, his accession to the post was not a smooth one, being the city’s third choice. The selection committee first offered it to two other composers, both with strong Leipzig connections: Bach’s friend Telemann, who used the offer to negotiate a salary increase for his position in Hamburg; and Christoph Graupner, a formerstudent of Kuhnau, who likewise used the offer to improve his existing situation in Darmstadt.

Eighteenth century Leipzig was highly cosmopolitan in terms of its musical life, and it was exposed to the latest musical trends from across the continent. Appropriately, the Festival opens on Friday, June 16th, with a group of Virtuoso Concertos by Bach's contemporaries, performed by the London Handel Players – Rachel Brown (flute), Silas Wollston (organ) and Adrian Butterfield (violin). The programme will include works by Handel and Vivaldi as well as by CPE Bach and Quantz.

Third Choice is the theme for the Saturday lunchtime concert on June 17th. This will feature works by Telemann and Graupner, a rare opportunity to experience the local musical milieu in which Bach was very much engaged. This will include concertos by both composers, as well as Telemann’s Grillen Symphonie and Water Music, performed by students from the Royal College of Music.

The Saturday evening concert on June 17th is entitled Trios for Two, and features Bach’s Sonatas for Obbligato Harpsichord and Violin. Silas Wollston, harpsichord, and Adrian Butterfield, violin, will perform. Their new recording of these beautiful works has just been released by SOMM records. This promises to be an evening of exquisite chamber music.

The Festival ends on Sunday, June 18th, with choral music from Bach’s inaugural year in Leipzig. He composed cantatas every week in 1723 from his arrival at the end of May, and Cantata 75, Die Elenden sollen essen, is one of his larger-scale examples. At Christmas that year he composed his wonderful setting of the Magnificat which has become so deservedly popular.

In 2023, for the 71st Tilford Bach Festival, music returns to All Saints, Tilford, as the roof is now repaired. The Festival committee once again thanks our friends at Grayshott for hosting it last year.


We incur expenses throughout the year and in particular in the run-up to the Festival. We really appreciate each and every donation, which help make it all possible. If you would like to make a donation, please click the PayPal button below


The Tilford Bach Festival is a unique and very personal event and our church, although beautiful, is small and therefore ticket sales will never be sufficient to cover costs. As you can imagine, presenting the St. Matthew Passion, Mass in B Minor or the St John Passion are an enormous and costly undertaking.

We are therefore reliant on sponsorship to secure each festival and ensure that we can produce the very best musical program possible.

Should you wish to become a sponsor either specifically for a movement, performance, or in general then please contact info@tilfordbachfestival.com

If you would like to donate and or be a sponsor and you are a UK taxpayer, then the value of your gift will be increased by 25% under the Gift Aid scheme at no extra cost to you.

For any sponsor and or donation over £500, we would like to offer you the choice of seats, complimentary drinks and an invite to the post main concert garden supperheld locally in Tilford with several of the performers & invited guests.

Please let us know if you might be interested and to those who are already supporting the festival,

A very big thank you as without you, we would not be here!

Font Awesome Icons