Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, concert hall, Frankfurt an der Oder, gable, historic preservation, Leipzig, monastery, organ, reconstruction, renovation, restoration, Second World War, St. Thomas School, vaulting, Wilhelm Sauer Orgelbau
In his autobiography of 1773, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach, wrote, “After completing secondary school in Leipzig at the St. Thomas School, I was awarded rights to study at the University level, first in Leipzig and then in Frankfurt on the Oder. While in Frankfurt, I composed works for an academy that I directed whenever public celebrations required music.” In recognition of his contributions to its musical life in the eighteenth century, the city of Frankfurt has dedicated a concert hall to C. P. E. Bach and has established an exhibit documenting his life and works.
The concert hall has been fashioned from the thirteenth-century church of the former Franciscan monastery that stood near the river on the northeast corner of the old city. Originally built in a modest form of Brick Gothic, the church emerged from the rubble of the Second World War largely unscathed. Thereafter the historic building fabric steadily deteriorated until extensive stabilization, restoration and reconstruction could begin in 1969. During renovation of the roof, medieval paintings were discovered on the vaulting and restored, and the two gables visible on the building exterior were renewed according to historic preservation guidelines. Finally, in 1975, the west end of the concert hall received an organ built by Wilhelm Sauer Orgelbau.
An expanded Bach exhibition attached to the concert hall will open in December 2014 as one of the culminating events of the celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.