Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Society was formed in the spring of 2016 in the wake of Boston Classical Orchestra’s demise. For more than three decades, the BCO had been a vibrant player in Boston’s cultural landscape, but deficits and limited infrastructure prompted the orchestra to cancel two concerts and declare bankruptcy.
However, with the support and participation of the BCO’s committed musicians, longtime music director Steven Lipsitt quickly reorganized and founded Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Society. “I felt a strong commitment to the musicians, the soloists the BCO had hired, and the public,” Lipsitt explained. “We have had such enthusiastic audiences, and we feel a mission to continue to present great music in historic Faneuil Hall.” The orchestra took over the BCO’s March and April concerts in Faneuil Hall and immediately began planning its first full season beginning in Fall 2016.
The musicians of the BB&B Orchestra are among the Boston area’s finest and most experienced freelance instrumentalists. A core of the musicians have been playing together for over 30 years, which Lipsitt maintains gives the orchestra a deep rapport and an ability to zone in on the substance of making music from the very beginning of the rehearsal process.
When not playing with BB&B at Faneuil Hall, the musicians can be heard performing with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, Boston Ballet Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Emmanuel Music, A Far Cry, BMOP, and many others throughout New England. Many are also active in the pit for shows at the Colonial, Emerson Majestic, Huntington, Shubert, Boston Opera House, and Wang Center theaters. These dedicated and versatile musicians teach privately and at area music schools, including New England Conservatory, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, Longy School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Harvard, MIT, Wellesley, and Smith, among others. All BB&B orchestra players are members of the Boston Musicians’ Association, Local 9-535 of the American Federation of Musicians.
“As someone who was present at the founding of the orchestra that preceded BB&B Society, I have to applaud Steven Lipsitt for having the courage and foresight to found a second orchestra in Boston’s busy musical climate. I know the players are grateful for that courage and tenacity, and they especially appreciate his conducting talent. There are many would-be conductors in the Boston area, but few with his ability.”
-Quindara Dodge, BB&B Personnel Manager
“I played with Boston Classical since I was in college, so I’m very excited to continue with BB&B at Faneuil Hall, which has been a favorite place for me — as a true Bostonian, the hall’s history and great acoustics are so special. But also, the players I work with are fantastic, and under Steve Lipsitt’s great musicianship and leadership, the orchestra is a wonderful family-like team! The enthusiasm for making great music is so strong, and the players really care about each other. There’s a great warmth and respect at BB&B!”
-Jodi Hagen, First Violin
“I’ve been playing with the people in this group since I was in grad school over 15 years ago, starting with the group’s previous incarnation as Boston Classical Orchestra. In fact, the BCO is THE reason I became a musician. BCO and Boston University had an annual concerto competition where the winner would receive a full scholarship to study music at BU. I was one of the winners in 1993, and if not for that competition, I don’t think I would have even gone to music school. I am so grateful for that opportunity – I think of it every single day. Also, performing in the historic Great Hall at Faneuil Hall is so special. That building was integral during the American Revolution – and we perform music that was written during that time period in that hall regularly. I always feel like it brings the hall back to life!”
-Susan Hagen, Double Bass