The transformative music of Johann Sebastian Bach has motivated the work of nearly every western composer to follow and continues to inspire those who hear it more than 270 years after his death.

Originally organized in 1997,  the Grand Rapids Bach Festival will return to West Michigan this April, for a number of events celebrating Bach’s life and work. 

The Grand Rapids Bach Festival also continues the Linn Maxwell Keller Distinguished Bach Musician Award, a vocal competition with a $10,000 prize that will be awarded in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Bach Festival. The prize is in memory of the late Linn Maxwell Keller, who founded the festival in 1997 and is funded by the Keller Foundation. 


The Bach Festival is presented biannually, inspiring a multitude of community partnerships and unique performances. Throughout the festival, the Grand Rapids Symphony offers several inspirational events, encouraging patrons to create their own personal dialogue with the music of Bach, the hardworking church musician, talented organist and one of the most influential composers to ever live.

The Bach Festival was first organized in 1997 by mezzo-soprano Linn Maxwell Keller. The one-time event became a biennial community-wide Bach Festival in 2007 with Karl Hochreither, director of the prestigious Bach Choir of Berlin, as its music director.