The German conductor, Günter (or Günther) Jena, is the founder of the Würzburger Bachtage, which are organized since 1969 now for the 34th time. The young church musician of Munich, graduate of the Musikhochschule and high-talented assistant of the eminent Karl Richter, made the rather insignificant St. Johanniskirche of Würzburg a centre of J.S. Bach’s music activity.
By most intensive work Günter Jena transformed the good church choir of St. Johannis into the renowned Bachchor Würzburg and created a church-musical life with Motets and organ concerts, with exemplary performances of the J.S. Bach Passions and Oratorios, previously unheard-of in the Catholic city, and then with its own concert series, the Munich Bach Festival of Karl Richter shared and mentioned Würzburger Bachtage.
In 1973 Günter Jena moved to Hamburg to the famous main church of St. Michaelis, where he became an institution by concerts as conductor, organist and harpsichordist. His co-operation with John Neumeier and the ballet version of the J.S. Bach Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) will not be forgotten. For some years he is in retirement, that is just as fulfilled from music as his past life.
In the meantime Günter Jena wrote his first book concerning the development of Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244), in which he passes on his deep experiences with this central work of J.S. Bach as a specialist of highest degree at "connoisseurs and lovers". In 1997 a second book was published, which spreads before the listeners the secrets and beauty of J.S. Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248).