George Lepauw

Project Leader and Pianist

“A prodigious pianist” (Chicago Tribune) recognized for his “singing tone” (New York Times), and someone who “likes to shake it up” (Chicago Tribune), George Lepauw is an artist and cultural activist who uses music and the arts to inspire and bring people together, following upon Beethoven’s idea of “brotherhood”. Named Chicagoan of the Year (2012) for Classical Music (Chicago Tribune), George represents the ideal 21st century musician, intensely focused on his art and wholly engaged with the world. In 2009 he had the honor of giving the World Premiere performance of a newly-discovered long-lost piano trio of Beethoven’s to great acclaim, which was followed by a highly-praised first recording on Cedille Records. In addition to his performance career, George is the Founder of the International Beethoven Project (IBP), a non-profit organization focused on innovation in the arts with which he has organized multi-disciplinary festivals, special events, educational programs, and annual “Beethoven Birthday Bashes”. From 2016 to 2018, George was also Executive Director of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest), which allowed him to deepen his passion for film, an artform he has occasionally participated in as a producer, consultant, composer and performer for over a decade. George, who grew up in France in a musical family (his grandfather was Principal Viola of the Paris Opera and of the Orchestre de Paris, and his father was First Violin with the Orchestre de Paris) began piano studies at the age of three in Paris with Aïda Barenboim (mother of pianist and conductor  Daniel Barenboim), and furthered his studies with Brigitte Engerer, Vladimir Krainev, Rena Shereshevskaya, James Giles, Ursula Oppens, and Earl Wild, among others. He has degrees from Georgetown University (Literature and Film Studies, and History), and from Northwestern University (Piano Performance). George is a frequent speaker and guest teacher at universities and “ideas festivals” as well as on radio and television. Recently, George composed music for the soundtrack to a prize-winning Virtual Reality documentary for Arte 360 on Claude Monet’s Waterlilies, which was on view at the Musée d’Orsay’s Orangerie Museum in Paris. His recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, out since February 2020 on Orchid Classics, has received unanimous praise in the press: ‘BBC Music Magazine’ gave it five stars, while The Arts Desk of London wrote that “the high spots are too numerous to mention”. To learn more about George and his projects, please visit

Photo by Céline Oms at Rens Lipsius Ideal Artist House Nr. 2


Harms Achtergarde

Audio Producer

Harms Achtergarde was born in 1967 in Münster (Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen). He studied at the “Erich Thienhaus Institut” of the “Hochschule für Musik Westfalen-Lippe” and graduated in 1995 as “Diplom Tonmeister” (audio producer) along with Double Bass and Piano studies. From there he started as a university lecturer for electro acoustics and recording production at the “Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar” (Franz Liszt Music Conservatory in Weimar, Germany) until 2002. In 2001 he started his own label (H.A.R.M.S.) for classical recording, also based in Weimar. Beside his many recording and producing activities, Harms Achtergarde also teaches as an academic in diverse institutions like “Bauhausuniversität Weimar”, “Technischen Universität Ilmenau”, and at the “Fernsehakademie Mitteldeutschland”.

Martin Mirabel

Film Director

After literary studies, the Paris-based Martin Mirabel published several articles between 2010 and 2012 in the magazine “l’Infini” edited by legendary author Philippe Solers for Gallimard. In 2013, Mr. Mirabel wrote and directed his first film, an adaptation from a tale by Fernando Pessoa, “The Pilgrim”, a 35 minutes film. Since then, Mr. Mirabel alternates between film and literary projects. For two years, he wrote and directed a documentary on French pianist Lucas Debargue that was shown on France Television and in select cinemas to great acclaim. He has most recently written and directed a documentary series of seven episodes on the history of the German Lied with distinguished musicologist André Tubeuf. Mr. Mirabel’s first book, a biography of composer Domenico Scarlatti released in the Fall of 2019 for publisher Actes Sud, was widely acclaimed in the press. He is now working on his second book and his first feature fiction film.

Mariano Nante

Film Director

Mariano Nante studied Film Direction at Universidad del Cine (FUC), and Philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Mr. Nante taught Film History and Film Aesthetics at several institutions, including Universidad del Cine (FUC). He started his career as a film director by helming several award-winning short films. In 2015, he wrote, directed and produced the feature documentary “Pianists Street” (La calle de los pianistas), shot in Belgium and Argentina. The movie premiered at the closing night of the Buenos Aires International Film Festival in the prestigious Teatro Colón to great critical response and went on to become one of the most successful documentaries from Argentina in the last few years. It received several awards including two nods at Málaga Film Festival and the two most important prizes in Argentina: “Best Documentary of the Year” by the National Academy of Motion Pictures (Premio Sur) and the Society of Film Critics (Premio Cóndor). Mariano Nante was one of the producers of “Piazzolla: The Years of the Shark” by Daniel Rosenfeld (coproduced by ARTE France and Idéale Audience), which premiered to great acclaim both from critics and audiences alike. In 2018 he directed “Beethoven: Last Sonatas”, a musical film for the small screen produced by ARTE France, Idéale Audience and Warner Classics, starring renowned French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. Mariano Nante is currently working on his first full feature fiction film, slated for production in 2020.

Additional Members

BACH48 team


Alejo Santos

film editor


Sebastian Palacio

film editor


Santiago Saponi

post-production coordinator


Javier Reboursin

graphic designer


Marcelo Perez

website developer


Céline Oms

project photographer




BACH48 is also made possible by the kindness and support of many organizations and individuals, to whom we are very thankful:


Primary Foundations


The Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Family Foundation

Lead Executive Producer


The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago

Ambassador Herbert Quelle

Associate Executive Producer


The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation

Associate Executive Producer


The Reynolds Family Foundation



Marjorie Layden




Individual donors




Christopher Hunt

Herbert Quelle
Chaz Ebert
Tim and Paula Friedman

Marjorie Layden





Deirdre Hade and William Arntz

Cindy Huang and Narendra Acharya

Dietrich and Erika Gross

Yann Woolley

Colleen Loughlin




Michael Hanigan

Seth Kravitz

Enice and Perry Goldberg

Loretta Julian

Didier Lepauw

Jane Lepauw




Jessica Jagielnik in memory of George M. Mariner

Jyldyz Wood and Arthur Hemberger

Serge and Lori Bourdon

Drs. Anne and Dennis Wentz

Pascal and Odile Jankowski

Brian Lauterbach

James Orr

Brett and Carey August

Albert and Amanda Kim

Raymund Acevedo

Nicholas and Carol Sommers

Karl and Gayle Maurer

Joanne Brooks

Debra DiMaggio

Lucile Agaisse

Stephen and Elizabeth Nightingale

Soumit Nandi

Laurence Saviers

Marianne Perez de Fransius

Marc Bushala of MAB Capital Management

Marion Goldfinger

Maya Polsky

Consuelo Lepauw

Nancy Rosene

Céline Oms

Preludes and Fugues


James Orr

Nicolas Bourgeon

Christophe Jacquemin

Lisa Zane

Brigitte and Jean-Pierre Canat

Claudie and Jacques Canat

Joëlle Florin Lalande

Guy Lalande

Tony and Sondra Karman

Karen and John Rosene

Brett and Carey August

Albert and Amanda Kim

François Meunier

Michael Hannigan

Eleanor Lapidus

Matthew and Nancy Sekerke

Melody and Ray O’Leary

Marianne Perez de Fransius

David Reithoffer

Carlotta Rotman

Didier Lepauw

Herbert and Corinna Quelle

Norbert and Mireille Thouvenot

William and Regina Davis

Eunice and Perry Goldberg

Mayumi Ichino

Pawel Checinski

Judith Kolata

Mark Zimmer

Leon and Linda Gottlieb

Diego Quijano

Olga Meerson

Loïc and Marie Rousset

Franz Burnier

Marc Bushala of MAB Capital Management

Paul-Henri Chevalier

Maya Polsky

Berna and Lee Huebner

Patreon Supporters


Seth Kravitz

Yann Woolley

Raymund Acevedo

Eunice Goldberg

James Orr

Lucile Agaisse

Rachid Darden

Marianne Perez de Fransius

Brett and Carey August

Amanda Kim

Laurence Saviers

Ray and Melody O’Leary

Jane Lepauw

Charles Bouygues

Judith Weinstein


Volunteers, friends and family


With gratitude to all the members of the International Beethoven Project teams over the course of the Bach48 project, and especially to: Tonika Todorova, Ainsley Klug, Lucile Agaisse, Kristen Brooks Schleiffer, Madison Briar, Anya Yermakova, Bryna Pascoe, Tennessee Hamilton, Mika Allison, Sasha Ongtengco, as well as Bach dancers Jacqueline Burnett, David Schultz, Alicia Delgadillo, Emilie Leriche, and Michael Gross.

Very special thank yous also to Baptiste Charvet, Brigitte & Jean-Pierre Canat and the entire Canat and Lalande families, and the friendly citizens of Chalabre and Weimar for helping facilitate the Bach48 project.

And with tremendous gratitude to Jane Lepauw, Didier Lepauw, Consuelo Lepauw, Nancy Rosene, Shirley Toomim, Achille Thomé-Oms and Céline Oms.


In memoriam, with love and gratitude


Aida Barenboïm

Roger Lepauw


Mathilde Jardelot

Consuelo Rosene

David Toomim

Earl Wild

Vladimir Krainev

Brigitte Engerer

Charles Rosen

Aleksandra Jovanovic

Max Wilcox

Rebecca Tepfer


The Bach48 Album is dedicated to the loving memory of

Nicole Laury-Lepauw

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