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Local heroes, our Leiden amateurs

[amateur noun (m.) Pronunciation: [æ.mə.tɚ] Declination: amateur|s (plural) A lover of something; someone who practices a trade, art or sport out of love and enthusiasm]

In the Pieterskerk Leiden the large choirs from Leiden can be heard regularly, our local heroes: C.O.V. Ex Animo, Con AmoreToonkunstkoor Leiden.

Or sing along for one or two days a year with Scratch Muziekdagen Leiden. The largest European scratch event has the Pieterskerk Leiden as its home base and we are very proud of that.

Bach's masterpieces

The Pieterskerk Leiden is the main decor for an important Leiden Easter tradition: the performance of the renowned Matthäus Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Residentie Orkest and the Haags Matrozenkoor perform Bach’s masterpiece.

During the Weihnachts-Oratorium all six cantates, written for the period of Christmas up to Three Kings Day, performed by the Netherlands Chamber Choir and a rotating European top ensemble.


Albert Einstein, a lover of the baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, once said: ‘I have this to say about Bach’s works: Listen, play, love, revere—and keep your trap shut.

Nevertheless, with Bachacademy we strive to give more information about the different backgrounds of the Matthäus Passion and the Weihnachts-Oratorium in an accessible way. With the help of music and images Aukelien van Hoytema (musicologist and former presenter at Radio 4) highlights different themes about Bach.

Cantate services

The Bach Cantate services are organized by Stichting Cantate Domino, which was founded in an initiative by the Pieterskerk Leiden and the Commission for Special Churchwork of the Protestant Community Leiden.

In a cantateservice a Cantate by J.S. Bach is performed in the original setting of a church service, with a harmony, Bible readings and a recital. The services are led by rotating ministers. All aspects of the service are adapted to the Cantate that is performed. Bach’s Cantate services can be visited free of charge.