Enigmatic musical mystery to be revealed at BAFTA

11-Sep-2018

A documentary based on research by CDU’s Professor Martin Jarvis OAM will be screened at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts

A documentary based on research by CDU’s Professor Martin Jarvis OAM will be screened at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts


A controversial feature-length documentary based on research by Charles Darwin University’s Professor Martin Jarvis OAM will be screened at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts next week.

“Written by Mrs Bach: Broken Silence”, investigates whether some of Baroque-period German maestro Johann Sebastian Bach’s most famous works were, in fact, composed by his second wife, Anna Magdalena.

Over the past 30 years some works previously attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach have been re-attributed to other composers, barely causing a ripple in the placid waters within the classical music landscape.

However, when accomplished academic, musician and forensic document examiner, Professor Jarvis suggested evidence existed advocating the great composer’s wife as a serious contender for recognition, the reaction of the Bach orthodoxy was swift and fierce, and access to key research materials was denied.

“The vehemence of the reaction to the findings in my research was astonishing,” Professor Jarvis said. “An important theme in the film asks why misogynistic attitudes persist in the 21st century, when it comes to proposing an alternative to accepted narratives.”

A key contributor to this compelling documentary includes US professor of forensic document examination Heidi Harralson, who worked to substantiate Professor Jarvis’ research. Professor Harralson’s work on Bach generated international acclaim, and she was also part of the team behind the verification of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Kurt Cobain’s suicide note.

Other contributors to “Written By Mrs Bach: Broken Silence” include: World renowned British female composer Sally Beamish; professional cellist Attilia Kiyoko Cernitori; and the (now) 13-year-old English child prodigy composer, pianist and violinist Alma Elizabeth Deutscher.

“Our film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and I am delighted that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has also acknowledged its relevance,” Professor Jarvis said

“Written By Mrs Bach: Broken Silence” will premiere at BAFTA in London on Monday, 17 September and will be released on digital download on 8 October 2018 by Evolutionary Films.