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The J.S. Bach Academy

The J.S. Bach Academy
of Music, Arts, Letters and Sciences

Founded in Queensland, Australia, on 8 October 2004 and active internationally.
Meritorious Supporter of the Pontificio Istituto Ambrosiano di Musica Sacra.
Affiliated to the Australian Society of Musicology and Composition.

The J.S. Bach Academy was merged into the Western Orthodox University on 1 June 2017. Initially established in Australia, it has been under the International Executive Presidency of Professor Luca Scotto di Tella de’ Douglas di Castel di Ripa since 12 January 2005. The Chancellor of the University, Professor John Kersey, serves as International Executive Vice-President and International Musical Director.

The Academy is a cultural and educational institution that honours the example of J.S. Bach (1685-1750) as a composer and executant musician of genius; a distinguished pedagogue, an intellect of the highest order and a polymathic artist. From the outset its activities have centred not only upon music but on endeavour in other areas such as literature and the sciences. As such, the Academy stands against the fragmentation of human knowledge and promotes unity and interdisciplinary endeavour.

Objectives

As a professional institute, the objectives of the Academy include:

  • to promote all fields of culture, art and learning, in a manner consistent with the spirit of J. S. Bach- the great composer, performer and pedagogue;
  • to promote appreciation and understanding of the work of J. S. Bach and Baroque Music;
  • to provide recognition for excellence and merits in the fields of interest of the Academy; and,
  • to encourage, facilitate and promote cordial relations between various institutions of parallel and complementary objectives;
  • to provide expert advice on issues pertaining to the performance and analysis of the works of J. S. Bach;
  • to encourage skills and talents;
  • to award prizes;
  • to promote cultural publishing initiatives;
  • to promote humanitarian and charitable initiatives and values; and,
  • to encourage amicable and respectful relations between persons of different religions.

The leadership of the Academy considers the work of J.S. Bach as exemplifying the ideal of humbly dedicating intellectual and creative achievement to the glory of God and the benefit of mankind, as well as tirelessness in the the continuing pursuit of technical skill. The Academy does not discriminate on the grounds of religion and is ecumenical in its orientation. Official languages of the Academy are English and Italian.

Since December 2016, the Academy has been accredited by the Anglican Association of Schools and Colleges, the umbrella body of the educational institutions of the Apostolic Episcopal Church.

Membership

Membership of the Academy in its various ranks may be conferred upon persons of distinguished merits, and who sympathise with its objectives. Distinguished performers or researchers into Bach’s work are welcome to make expressions of interest, as are persons of comparable standing in any field. Suitable candidates may be appointed as Professors or Honorary Professors (within the Academy as a division of the Western Orthodox University), or awarded Fellowship or Licentiateship based on prior achievement. Through the Western Orthodox University’s incorporation in the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Academy also makes the awards of Magister, Magister Emeritus and Doctor Emeritus. The Academy welcomes the opportunity to establish co-operative and collaborative relations with other institutions of complementary objectives.

Professional diploma awards

Candidates for professional diploma awards of the Academy are required to make a submission of work, as either a performer, musicologist or composer.

The diplomas are awarded by the J.S. Bach Academy in its capacity as a division of the Western Orthodox Academy in the United Kingdom. The Western Orthodox Academy is registered on the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) with Provider Reference Number 10063798. The UKRLP does not quality assure or accredit in any way the learning provision of the provider. However, registration with the UKRLP does serve as an official confirmation that the education provider’s existence and details have been verified by a UK government agency.

The guidelines for submissions are outlined below. Information on fees is here.

Performer Diploma

Candidates are required to submit one of the following:

  • A video recording of a live performance, before an actual audience, of the candidate performing works of J.S. Bach (of at least 45 minutes duration);
  • A CD or audio cassette recording of live performances of the works of J.S. Bach, of at least 60 minutes duration. Signed and witnessed declarations by at least three independent witness (e.g. professors), that the recording is authentic and made under live performance conditions are to be included.

Musicologist Diploma

Candidates are required to submit an essay/dissertation of 5,000-10,000 words in length, presenting original research or analysis relating to J.S. Bach. A signed and witnessed declaration that the essay/dissertation is the original, unassisted work of the candidate must be included.

Composer Diploma

Candidates are required to submit a folio of composition, including:

  • Four fugues of at least 80 bars length, which must demonstrate competence in tonal harmony and counterpoint; and,
  • Other compositions for any instrumental or vocal mediums, in any style or form, of a total duration of 10-30 minutes. At least one of the compositions should demonstrate the ability to write in large scale forms.

A signed and witnessed declaration that the compositions contained in the folio are the original and unassisted work of the candidate must be included.

Status of J.S. Bach Academy diplomas

The Examining Board of the J.S. Bach Academy is a private United Kingdom distance education college that is not within the UK state education system and cannot award degrees by law. In the United Kingdom, no governmental authority, recognition, licensing or accreditation is required for a private distance learning college to award its own diplomas or certificates and many such bodies do so. These awards are fully legal United Kingdom qualifications which are designed for independent learners who are seeking an award for professional and personal development.

The J.S. Bach Academy does not have its own campus, but operates via distance and blended learning at locations internationally. The Western Orthodox Academy address handles our mail and routes communications to officers as necessary.

The diploma programmes offered by the J.S. Bach Academy lead to diploma awards which are not degrees. While J.S. Bach Academy diplomas have been recognized for credit by some overseas degree-awarding bodies, the degrees issued by those bodies are not United Kingdom awards, nor are they designed to be comparable to United Kingdom awards.

Some J.S. Bach Academy diplomas are offered at Associate Diploma, Licentiate Diploma, and Fellow Diploma levels. The titles of associate, licentiate and fellow used by these diplomas are not regulated titles in the UK and there is no universally recognized standard for their content or length.

All issues of acceptance and recognition relating to J.S. Bach Academy diplomas are entirely the responsibility of the receiving party concerned. The prospective candidate should check with any third party from whom they might desire recognition to establish what their position will be before they enrol. The J.S. Bach Academy cannot undertake this process for enquirers.

Constitution

1. Name, Nature and Duration

a. The entity hereby established shall be called the J. S. Bach Academy of Music, Arts, Letters and Sciences (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Academy’).
b. The Academy shall be an educational, cultural and scientifical institution of Higher/Superior Education, with special reference to Baroque and Classical Music, but encompassing all fields of Music, Arts, Letters, Sciences, culture and learning.
c. The Academy shall be of unlimited duration.
d. The Academy headquarters and address for correspondence is that of the Western Orthodox Academy. The Academy can create branches in other cities in Australia and abroad.
e. The Academy is apolitical in nature, and functions without fees for its educational services. It promotes and supports philanthropic, humanitarian, religious, artistic, scientific and cultural purposes, solidarity and Peace.
f. The Academy is inter-religious in nature, but predominantly Christian in composition and orientation.
g. The Academy honours the sacred nature of human life from conception onwards.

2. Objectives

a. The objectives of the Academy shall be:

  • to promote all fields of culture, art and learning, in a manner consistent with the spirit of J. S. Bach – the great composer, performer, pedagogue, who was also a Professor of Theology;
  • to promote appreciation and understanding of the work of J.S. Bach and Baroque Music;
  • to provide recognition for excellence and merits in the fields of interest of the Academy;
  • to encourage, facilitate and promote cordial relations between various institutions of parallel and complementary objectives;
  • to provide expert advice on issues pertaining to the performance and analysis of the works of J. S. Bach;
  • to encourage skills and talents;
  • to hold meetings, seminars, conferences, symposiums, congresses and educational courses;
  • to organize cultural trips, holidays and events;
  • to award prizes;
  • to promote cultural publishing initiatives;
  • to promote humanitarian and charitable initiatives and values;
  • to encourage amicable and respectful relations between persons of different religions.

b. The Academy may pursue other objectives which may support, directly or indirectly, those listed above.

3. Governance

a. Governance of the Academy, including the power to alter its Constitution, shall be vested in a Council.
b. The Council shall consist of founding members (as permanent members), and other persons who may be appointed by invitation of founding members, on terms deemed appropriate.
c. The Council may appointed such officers as it deems necessary or desirable, which will include an International Executive President and International Executive Vice-President.

4. Admission to the Academy

a. Membership of the Academy shall be conferred as an honour on the basis of merit, without discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, gender or religion.
b. Membership shall be open to persons on any nationality, with a minimum age of admission of 18 years.
c. Admission to membership shall require either the agreement of a majority of the Council or may be conferred by moto proprio of either the International Executive President or the International Executive Vice-President.
d. Membership of the Academy may be conferred in conjunction with, but not limited to, the following titles:

  • Academic Grand Cross with Collar/Neck Chain
  • Academic Grand Cross
  • Academic Grand Officer
  • Academic Commander
  • Academic Knight Officer
  • Academic Knight
  • Honorary International President
  • Honorary International Vice-President
  • Honorary National President
  • Honorary National Vice-President
  • Honorary Local President (for Regions and Cities/Towns)
  • Honorary Local Vice President (for Regions and Cities/Towns)
  • Honorary Professor*
  • Professor*
  • Professor Emeritus*
  • Magister et Doctor Emeritus (honoris causa)*
  • Honorary Fellow
  • Fellow
  • Expert
  • Magister/Maestro*
  • Honorary Licentiate
  • Licentiate
  • International Prize “Johann Sebastian BACH
  • Golden Medal of Merit
  • Silver Medal of Merit
  • Bronze Medal of Merit
  • Commemorative Medal (golden, silver and bronze medals)

Awards marked * are conferred by the Western Orthodox University under its incorporation in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

d. Upon admission, members shall be issued with a diploma, signed by the International Executive President and/or the International Executive Vice-President.
e. Membership shall normally be conferred by invitation only or by a recommendation of a Member of the Academy.
f. The deliberations of the Council in considering persons for membership shall be considered confidential and final.
g. Membership shall be conferred for life, but may be revoked at any time by decision of the majority of Council, or where conferred moto proprio, by the International Executive President or the International Executive Vice-President. The Academy can decide to expel any Academician who is considered to have harmed the Academy’s prestige.
h. Founders, International and National Presidents and Vice-Presidents are “de jure”, automatically named “Academic Grand Cross with Collar/Neck Chain and Professor” of the Academy.
i. There shall be no fee charged for admission to the Academy as a member. Those who wish to support the work of the Academy and of the Western Orthodox University are welcome to make a donation as they see fit. Fees are charged for diploma awards and for any ancillary tuition that a student may receive in connection with preparation for these awards.

5. Collaboration with Other Institutions

a. The Academy may enter into formal or informal collaborations and agreements with other institutions, for the advancement of its objectives or standing.

6. Dissolution of the Administration of the Academy

a. The administration of the Academy may be dissolved by majority decision of the permanent members of Council. In such an event, the remaining members of the Academy will be deemed to form a ‘closed chapter’, which will continue during the lifetime of such members.

7. Funds

a. The common fund is made up only of the free donations of Academicians and Friends of the Academy. The Academy may accept donations from State, Public, Private, National and International Organizations and of individuals.

8. Seal and Motto.

a. The Seal and the Symbol of the Academy is the portrait of J.S. BACH.
b. The Motto of the Academy shall be “Ars longa, vita brevis” (‘Art is long, life is short’).