The Brothers Bach, four musical sons of Baroque-era German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, take center stage at UNCG’s 18th Focus on Piano Literature conference.

The conference — which includes performances, lectures and a master class — runs Thursday, June 5, through Saturday, June 7, in the Music Building at West Market and McIver streets. For registration, cost information and schedule details, visit

This year’s guest artists and lecturers are:

Jacques Ogg
Artist faculty, Royal Conservatory, The Hague
Artistic Director, Lyra Orchestra, St. Paul, Minnesota

Christoph Wolff
Adams University Research Professor, Harvard University
Author, “Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician”

David Schulenberg
Juilliard School, Wagner College
Author, “The Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach”, “The Music of  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.”

About the Brothers Bach:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
The famous brother, Emanuel “wrote the book” on keyboard playing and distinguished himself as an inspired improviser. All the great Classical masters acknowledged their debt to him. Never at a loss for a musical idea and a host of ways to express it, he created a body of piano music rivaled only by Haydn’s for imagination and craft, yet many pianists are scarcely aware of his work.

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784)
The eldest brother, Friedemann struggled to find stability in his life yet amassed a respectable record of professional achievement as an organist and composer.

Johann Christian (1735-1782)
The rebellious brother, Christian left Germany, mastered the idioms of Italian opera, traded Lutheranism for Catholicism, and climbed to the apex of London musical society as the Queen’s music master, yet he left a widow in penury.

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732-1795)
The quiet brother, Christoph Friedrich settled into service at the small court of Bückeburg and spent his days composing in the fashionable genres and styles.

Founded in 1990 by UNCG keyboard professor John Salmon and directed since 2003 by professor Andrew Willis, each Focus addresses either an individual composer like Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, or Debussy or a thematic area such as “Russian Romantics” or “Paris in the 1920s”. Among the many distinguished guests Focus has brought to UNCG are pianists Abbey Simon, Jerome Lowenthal, Ann Schein and Malcolm Bilson, and scholars Christoph Wolff, Jeffrey Kallberg and R. Larry Todd.

Willis and Salmon, along with several other UNCG School of Music, Theater and Dance faculty, will perform during the conference. Coincidentally, Salmon has just published a new book on the music of J.S. Bach, “Add on Bach”.

For more information on Focus on Piano Literature, contact Andrew Willis at (336) 334-5508 or