Blog - In Bach's footsteps

Follow me on a 445 km biking tour with a cello

On this blog, you can follow my tour in Bach's footsteps.

There will be updates about tailwinds and headwinds, punctures and concerts, and the hidden Bach-secrets I hope to find along the road...

June 2nd is the opening concert in Bachkirche Arnstadt and June 23rd  the 'finale' in Marienkirche in Lübeck.
In between, 445 km by bike and 9 concerts with Bachs fantastic music for cello and recorder.

23/6 2017 - Mission completed

Yesterday I played with Johannes Unger for one of the historic Abedmusik Konzerte in the gigantic St Marienkirche.

This concert row dates back before Bach's time, and is considered one of the reasons why Bach walked to Lübeck.  

It was a joy to play the final concert of this project here.

















23/6 2017 - Arriving in Lübeck

Try say it out loud.
Isn't that a nice word?

Last kilometers Video FB

Last kilometers Youtube




22/6 2017 - NDR

Deutschlandfunk Kultur invited me for a talk about 'In Bach's Footsteps' and what is coming next...
Take a look here:

NDR article




21/6 2017 - Planning the next tour!

Norddeutscher Rundfunk, NDR Kultur, called me for a talk about the project 'In Bachs Footsteps' and what will come next...

Listen here if you understad German:

Radio interview

They also made an article about it: interview


20/6 2017 - Three tips

These are three tips for you, for your next camping concert tour:

Tips for music campers Video






19/6 2017 - 50 km with headwind and then a concert

Video update from Die Elbe







18/6 2017 - A secret

I have been looking for Bach secrets along the road.

Don't tell anybody what I found in the woods...

Bach Secret Video







17/6 2017 - In the German newspapers

The journalist Björn Vogt has written such a nice article about the tour, that it has been published in following magazines:

Die Welt, N24, FOCUS, Lübecker Nachrichten, Allgemeine Zeitung, Main-echo,, Ruhrnachrichten,, Süddeutsche Zeitung,
- and maybe a few more...

This is the article in:

Philipp Schultze has taken the photo.

16/6 2017 - Please Cross your fingers...

Video update from Dannenberg. FB

Video update from Dannenberg, YouTube


15/6 2017 - Bach with a wide angle

I'm very happy with the GoPro camera i brought for the tour. It is so small and handy.
Today I just had to go back to St Marienkirche where the concert was yesterday to make this short video in the great accoustics.

Bach with a wide angle video



15/6 2017 - If you speak German - read on

Like music, language skills improve with daily practice.
Yesterday I was interviewed by 3 different newspapers - in German!
I don't think that would have been possible two weeks ago.

Here is Gerhard Ziegler's article about 'In Bach's Footsteps':

Article by Björn Vogt



14/6 2017 - Concert JUBIII !!!

This is Axel Fischer and me for the concert yesterday in St. Marien Kirche in Plate am Lüchow.

In the afternoon we shared lunch and later we shared the concert. He played Bach at the organ and I at the cello and recorder.

Gerhard Ziegler from was so kind to share these photos.






I think this photo have been taken during the Prelude of Bach's 3rd cello suite.
I'm playing a b-minor chord ona down bow at the first beat in bar number 40...










12/6 2017 - A few days off 

When I booked this airbnb long time ago, I didn't know it included a lesson in salsa and cello improvisation.
I do know Bach was a great improvisator, but did he ever dance salsa? Thanks to Demian Oyarce!








11/6 - 2017 - Borrowing a paradise

After the concert at the 10th I met Tobias and Almut Eilrich, and they invited me for breakfast next morning. Their house and garden was a true little paradise that they lent my the keys for while they were away for the afternoon.

Paradise in Salzwedel Video


10/6 2017 - Dress rehearsal in a tower

In Salzwedel, again I was warmly greeted. This time by Kantor Matthias Böhlert who hosted me in the old Latin School. 

Before the concert i warmed up in the top of the Latin School tower. This building was founded in 1550 - generations before Bach's time.  I wish I could share the smel of the old wood in this room.




10/6 2017 - What i luck!

Yesterday was the longest distance of the tour. 120 km from Halberstadt to Klötze.
Everything started out fine, until the storm and thunder came. I had to wait in a forest before continuing for the last 50 km of muddy farm tracks.
Finally after 10 hours of cello-biking I found the Hotel to be closed...

Luckely I met this wonderful couple, Strohmeyer, from the hotel, and they helped me to get in.

Today they even offered me a lift to Salzwedel in their car. 

I know this turns into a luxury tour, when I keep meeting so kind people. 

Thank you so much Strohmeyers!



9/6 2017 - Waiting for the thunder

One day I had to go 120 km by bike with the cello. It ended up taking 10 hours because a wild thunder took it's time around 5 PM.
But the sounds in nature are gorgeous - Bach must have enjoyed similar sounds 300 years ago.

Thunder and birds video


9/6 2017 - Crescendo Classical music Magazine is following the tour

Crossing a mountain video






8/6 2017 - Concert review

"Yesterday cellist Ida Riegels arrived Halberstadt Domschatz In Bach's footsteps. She delighted the audience with her virtuos and passionate playing."

"Auf Bachs Fußspuren erreichte die Cellistin Ida Riegels gestern Halberstadt und seinen Domschatz. Sie begeisterte das Publikum mit ihrem virtuosen und zugleich leidenschaftlichen Spiel."


7/6 2017 - Wouldn't Bach have done the same?

On my way from Sangerhausen to Halberstadt I spent a few days at a magic castle in Gerbstedt. 
The owners invited me for coffee and cake in their brand new cafe and we became 'Dus' immediately. 
The Baron von Gerbsted is an amazing young guy hwo is, by the way, a famous Schlager singer. 
Check him out here:
Phil Stewman - Schlager Baron

The baronesse Angela Schmidt is an angel. It was very windy and rainy this Wednesday and I had to go 57 km by bike to Halberstadt. So when she kindly asked if I would be interested in playing a Bach concert in their cafe in exchange for a ride to Halberstadt, I couldn't refuse any of the two offers. 
I know it was kind og cheating, but I wonder if Bach wouldn't have done the same back in 1705. 














Danke Maren Wendt!






6/6 2017 - Schlagerbaron with a magic castle

Schlager Baron, Phil Stewman invited me for dinner and music jam at his magic castle.

J.S. Bach and Schlager might be two of the most opposite music genres - or?

Very refreshing and inspiring!





4/6 - 2017 - Rarely has a cup of mint tea tasted so good as today!

Thank you Martina Pohl.
I went trough lots of challenging weather to get from Schloss Beichlingen to the concert in Sangerhausen today.

After the concert in Jacobi Kirche Frau Pohl gave me this wonderful sun hat with roses like the ones they have here in Sangerhausen.
- And she also showed me something very interesting on the first floor...

It is known that J.S. Bach has played at least two times in this church. So is this his mystical monogramm with the letters JSB hidden in it? The monogramm with all the secret meanings in it.
And is that a rabbit or what, just above it?

To be continued...


By the way, here is a little taste from the concert. Last movement from Bach's Partita for flute:

J.S. Bach, Partita BWV 1013 - Bourrée anglaise



































2/6 - 2017 - GoPro camera on the cello case

Short video starting in Bachkirche Arnstadt, following the river Unstrut and destinating at Schloss Beichlingen a castle from around year 1000.

50 km in 2 min:

First etape video




2/6 - 2017 - Was he really like that?

I have been thinking that Bach must have been some kind of a strong willed young man - maybe a bit of a rebel, since he decided to walk all the way to Lübeck.

This statue is made in 1985, depicting Bach when he was 18 years old.

I wonder if he could really have looked like that?



2/6 - Opening concert in Bachkirche Arnstadt

In Arnstadt I was warmly greeted by Jörg Reddin the present successor of J.S. Bach!

Together we played the opening concert of my tour in the Bachkirche Arnstadt. The church where Bach worked in 1705 when he decided to walk to Lübeck to meet Dietrich Buxtehude.

The newspaper was there for an interview before I took off, and Hans-Peter Stadermann took these photos.






























1/6 2017 - The tour starts from Copenhagen

For three weeks my cello and I are going to be travel buddies. We will be sharing both the bike and the hotels, and hopefully get to know each other even better.












31/5 2017 - Ist das Alles?

Is 10 kg luggage reasonable for a 3 week biking concert tour?






29/5 2017 Article in 'Optakt'

Marianne Ryde from the danish music magazine 'Optakt' invited me for a talk about Bach and 'In Bach's Footsteps'.
After the interview, she wrote this wonderful article:

På Cykeltur med Bach



24/5 2017: Louis-Hansen Fonden

Louis-Hansen Fonden supports big projects like 'Statens Naturhistoriske Museeum', 'Experimentarium', 'SMK', 'Dansk Danseteater'...

- And now they also support this one-man project, that aims to bring Bach's music as close to the listeners as possible.

I'm honored!



13/5 2017: P2 radio interview about the project

Thomas Winther Overby from DR P2 invited me for a bike ride and a talk about Bach.

Listen here:

P2 Puls interview



8/5 - 2017: Handheld Bach in the woods

Preparing the program:

This is the famous G-major Prelude from the first Suite.
On my way for a rehearsal I found this beautiful spot and made a little video with my phone.

Bach G-major prelude



1/5 - 2017: Beckett Foundation support
No tent for the tour!

I'm very grateful to have Beckett Foundation supporting the project. 
It means, among other things, that I don't have to bring my tent for the tour, but instead can start to book some hotels and B&Bs along the route.





20/4 - 2017: Danish Arts Foundation support
With a cello on the pannier rack...



The State Art Foundation supports: "Danish professional musicians international transport expenses for exposures abroad"
I am so happy that they have chosen to support my project and that I do not have to go back 4-500 km on my old 'havelåge' with a cello behind.
Now the question is just which bicycle manufacturer has the best lightweight bike with original driving position and room for a cello on the luggage rack.

Danish Arts Foundation supports: "Danish professional musician's international transport expenses for concerts abroad"

I am so happy they have chosen to support my project, so that I don't have to bike 4-500 km on my old bike with my cello.

Now the question is, which bicycle manufacturer has the best lightweight bike with an upright riding position and room for a cello on the pannier rack.


"Did he really do that?!"

"Bach, the man with a wig and 20 kids?!"

It was my American friend's first comment.

In fact, that was also my first thought.

Did J.S. Bach really walk more than 400km by foot because he wanted to meet Buxtehude?

According to experts, the story is true. In 1705, Bach was just 20 years old, and maybe a bit of a young rebel, who decided to walk from Arnstadt to Lübeck to meet the great composer Dietrich Buxtehude.

The story includes both a fatal battle of swords with a bassoon player, a foreign virgin on a choir loft, and not least the story about a young artist who was willing to do almost anything to develop his talent.

The story has opened my eyes and ears to Bach's ambition and enthusiasm, and inspired me to make new interpretations of his works.

I am excited to see what Bach-secrets are hidden along the road from Arnstadt to Lübeck, and I look forward to sharing them with the listeners.

Tour plan:

23. Juni kl 19.00 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Abendmusik St Marien, Lübeck, Tyskland

 20 juni. kl 19.00 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Groß Grönau, Tyskland

 17. juni kl 18.00 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Boizenburg Kirche, Kirchpl. 7, Boizenburg/Elbe, Tyskland

16. juni kl 21.00 'In Bachs Fußspuren' - Musik für Spaziergänger, St. Johannis Kirche, An der Kirche 1, Dannenberg,Tyskland

14. juni kl 19.00 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' St. Marien-Kirche Plate (bei Lüchow), Tyskland

10. juni kl 19.30 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Salzwedeler Katharinenkirche, Salzwedel, Tyskland

8. juni kl 18.00 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Kapitelsaal des Domes, Dompl. 16A, Halberstadt, Tyskland

4. juni kl 17.00 - 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Sangerhausen, Tyskland

 2. juni kl 12.00 - Eröffnungskonzert 'In Bachs Fußspuren' Bachkirche Arnstadt, Tyskland

18. maj kl 17.00 - 'I Bachs fodspor' Goethe-Institut Dänemark. Arrangement med musik, fortælling, vin og salt. Frederiksborggade 1, København K.