De Nederlandse Bachvereniging (The Netherlands Bach Society) owes its existence and fame to the performances of Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) which it has given since 1922, in the Grote Kerk, Naarden. These performances are greatly beloved by the Dutch public, and they attract a yearly audience of more than 12,000. Since 1983 De Nederlandse Bachvereniging (The Netherlands Bach Society) (NBV) is working with its own Choir and Baroque Orchestra. The present-day Netherlands Bach Society consists of a group of professional singers and instrumentalists who are specialized in the performance practice of 17th and 18th century repertoire. The artistic director, and chief conductor of The Netherlands Bach Society, is Jos van Veldhoven.
The Netherlands Bach Society gives about 50 concerts a year, primarily with works of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries and predecessors. There is a wide range of programming, ranging from the major Baroque works to lesser known compositions and the smaller-scale repertoire. The flexibility of the ensemble enables it to give performances with both large and small settings, of both religious and secular choral and orchestral music. The Netherlands Bach Society has therefore performed an impressive number of works including many compositions receiving their first-ever present-day performances. This creative programming is inspiring for both musicians and public.
Most of the concerts take place in the Netherlands. The Choir and Baroque Orchestra of The Netherlands Bach Society have frequently appeared at festivals in the Netherlands and abroad. Concert tours have brought the choir to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Norway, Japan, and the USA. Intensive co-operation with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman has resulted in many joint projects. The Netherlands Bach Society also co-operates regularly with ensembles such as Concerto Palatino and l’Ensemble vocal Sagittarius.
About half of the yearly projects are conducted by artistic director Jos van Veldhoven. On other occasions, the Netherlands Bach Society (Choir and Baroque Orchestra) has collaborated with prominent early music conductors such as Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman, Paul McCreesh, Marcus Creed, Jos van Immerseel, Philippe Herreweghe, Hermann Max, René Jacobs, Frans Brüggen, Andrew Parrott, Monica Huggett, Roger Norrington, Iván Fischer, Paul van Nevel and Masaaki Suzuki.
The Netherlands Bach Society has made several CD-recordings in a successful cooperation with Channel Classics Records. These series of innovative recordings of lesser known works include music by Netherlands and Italian composers. All of these CD's have also received high praise from the critics.