Coming up in Philly music: The women who saved Bach

Thanks in part to Sara Itzig Levy, we're still listening to Bach today.

Great works of art survive because people keep them alive. In the late 18th century, three sisters — Sara, Bella, and Fanny Itzig — kept Bach’s music alive during a time when he could have slipped into obscurity. They collected his works, presented private performances, and passed their enthusiasm to Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn. Their influence led directly to the Bach revival Mendelssohn conducted in the 19th century. On January 21, the Tempesta di Mara Baroque Chamber Players will celebrate the Itzig sisters' story by playing music from their collections at the National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall.

The Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Players will present Sara and Her Sisters on January 21 at 8pm at the National Museum of American Jewish History, 5th and Market Streets, with a repeat performance on January 22, 4pm, at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue. Come an hour early to either show for a pre-performance talk titled "Sara Levy, Her Sisters, and the Berlin Salons," from writer and art historian Anne Schuster Hunter. Tickets are $25 to $39 (youth and full-time students free at the door), and are available in advance online or at the door.

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