Lynn Edwards Butler


  • Bach in Leipzig: The Latest on His Organs and Organ Works
    808 Howell St
    July 7 @ 10:00 am
    This lively workshop will look at Bach’s activities as an organist in Leipzig in light of recent findings. It will re-examine the organs available to him, including Scheibe’s instruments in the University Church (which Bach surely used for recitals) and the St. John’s Church (which Bach inspected in 1742). And it will reconsider the Schübler Chorales, the Leipzig Chorale Portfolio (the “Great Nineteen Chorales”?), and the special place of the Fantasy & Fugue in C Minor, BWV 537, which may represent Bach’s final thoughts on a “symphonic” prelude and fugue. Although Bach no longer held an organist position in Leipzig, his interest in organ construction, playing, and composition eclipsed even his remarkable achievements in Weimar, leading to works that embraced the new developments in Central German organ building and prepared the ground for the German Romantic style that was soon to come. Attend this workshop and see how this happened.


Lynn Edwards Butler, an organist and scholar living in Vancouver, British Columbia, is co-founder and a former director of The Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. She is well known for her writings on baroque organ building in Saxony and Thuringia. Her pioneering study Johann Scheibe: Organ Builder in Leipzig at the Time of Bach will be published in early 2022 by the University of Illinois Press, she is translator of The Organs of J. S. Bach: A Handbook, and she is currently at work on Bach’s Passacaglia and Other Great Organ Works for Oxford University Press.   

As an organist, Lynn studied with John Weaver, William Porter, Joan Lippincott, and Harald Vogel. Her expertise in early German performance practice was gained during two years of study on the historic organs of northwest Germany and through extended study trips to the baroque organs of central Germany. She is a Loft Recordings artist and has concertized on fine tracker organs in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Mexico.

Edwards Butler has contributed articles to The Organ Yearbook, Keyboard Perspectives, Bach-Jahrbuch, Bach Perspectives, Bach: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, Acta Organologica, and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and to festschrifts in honor of Joan Lippincott, Barbara Owen, Harald Vogel, and Peter Williams. She is a former vice-president of the American Bach Society and for six years was a member of its Editorial Board; as well, she has served on the board overseeing the library and publications of the Organ Historical Society.