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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 serves as International Executive Vice-President and International Musical Director.

The Academy is a cultural 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.

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 of the Academy in its various ranks is conferred on an honorary basis.


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)

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. 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.

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’).