I woke up at 4.30am on December 28 2015 with an idea for a Bach orchestra. I had been wanting to find some way of coming back to Australia that would be as musically satisfying and rewarding as all the wonderful performing I had been doing for nearly two decades in Europe.

Madeleine Easton. Photograph © Steven Godbee

The idea of a period instrument ensemble dedicated to Bach was perfect. I would control my own musical destiny and perform these wonderful works in exactly the way I felt them.

I definitely had many people say to me that it would never work, I would never get the funding or support that I expected or that I had come to see as normal over in Europe. “Australia just doesn’t work like that”, they said, but I was never in any doubt that it would work.

The English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir were good models for the sort of ensemble and choir I wanted to create. The way the musicians are chosen, each hand-picked from around the globe and each an expert on their respective instruments was a great inspiration. Many other countries have their own...

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