The J. S. Bach Dialogue meeting differs from a conventional academic conference in that every delegate makes an equally important contribution regardless of whether or not he/she is presenting a paper or session. The aim of the presentations (whether an individual new 'Burning Issues' paper or a topic-orientated research session) is not to impart new information as an end in itself, but primarily to open up questions that are frequently unanswered and unanswerable. The public search for answers and the process of raising multiple ideas is only possible because of the collective expertise and specialisms of the delegates. The abstracts for the Dialogue sessions reflect this discussion-based format, as they are written in the form of a short statement with many questions.
Originally held annually in Oxford, the Dialogue Meeting of BNUK has become a biennial event. We began the two-yearly pattern in 2010, when instead of putting our own meeting, we presented four sessions at the 14th Biennial International Conference for Baroque Music in Belfast. This pattern of alternating our Dialogue meetings with the Biennial Baroque Conference has proven to be highly successful. Our fifth Dialogue Meeting was held in Edinburgh in summer 2011, and our sixth will be held in Warsaw in 2013. More details can be found under the tabs below.
Over the years the free spirit of our dialogue meetings has remained, with informal conversations over breakfasts and coffee breaks and evening meals alternating with the friendly formality of professional papers and public dialogue. Many new and creative ideas have resulted from our meetings. For the first time in 2013 we will be developing the idea of Dialogue Session Groups , issuing a public call for sessions in August 2012. Dialogue presentations frequently result in articles published in our on-line journal Understanding Bach.