Bach Cantata Series

Bach Cantata Series

UMD Choral Activities
Thursday, September 14, 2023 • 1:30PM
Photo by Geoff Sheil.
Special Announcement: 

The recording of this event will be available to view until November 13, 2023. You may access the recording here.

Event Attributes

Presented By

Presented By: 

For more information regarding accessible accommodations, please click here.

Estimated Length: 
30 minutes


Mark Helms, conductor

J.S. Bach, known as the great master, wrote more than 200 cantatas, and UMD Choral Activities aims to sing them all in this series of short performances led by conductors in the graduate program.

While living in Leipzig, J.S. Bach provided music not only for the church but also for the community, where his works were often performed at Café Zimmerman, a local coffeehouse. It was only around the time of Bach’s birth that coffee had first arrived in Europe, but it quickly become a fashionable drink in European cities. Bach’s so-called “Coffee Cantata,” Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (BWV 211), takes the form of a miniature comic opera, satirizing this coffee fad and the sanctimonious belief among many at the time that drinking it was a bad habit. In it, a disgruntled father, Schlendrian, argues with his coffee-obsessed daughter, Lieschen, about what he perceives to be her bad habit of indulging in too much coffee. Schlendrian unsuccessfully attempts to bribe his daughter into giving up the drink, while Lieschen cleverly evades his demands. Grab a cup of coffee from our own Applause Cafe and join us for a lightly-staged rendition of this unique work!


Led by choral conducting alumnus Jason Max Ferdinand D.M.A. ’15, UMD's choral program is internationally regarded and offers students a wide array of choral experiences with music encompassing all styles and eras. In addition to this season’s on campus performances, the UMD Concert Choir participates in annual collaborations with both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at premier venues including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.