Bach's Complete Cello Suites at the MFA

May 14, 2019

Guy Fishman, Principal Cellist with the Handel and Haydn Society, discusses his upcoming marathon performance of Bach's six masterpieces at the Museum of Fine Arts, and why performing these pieces on an instrument from the composer's time is special. 

When Bach wrote his cello suites sometime in the 1720's, it's unlikely that he expected them to become as iconic a group of pieces as they did. Indeed, they were hardly heard anywhere before the 20th century. But today they are some of the most famous pieces ever written, and on Sunday, May 19, cellist Guy Fishman will perform all six suites at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

He sat down with me to discuss what makes the suites so special, what it takes to perform them all in one go, and what sets his performance, on his 1704 Baroque cello, apart from performances on modern instruments.

Guy Fishman performs Bach's Cello Suites at the Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday, May 19 at 12pm and 3:30pm. For tickets to the concert, visit the Museum of Fine Arts