Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of J.S. Bach. He has remained the group’s music director ever since, taking it regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the United States. In addition to working with renowned period ensembles, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and Philharmonia Baroque, he is invited to conduct modern instrument orchestras in repertoire as diverse as Britten, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Stravinsky. Last season saw his debut appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, while engagements for 2011–2012 include performances of Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and the Melbourne Symphony, engagements with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and a return visit to the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. Professor Suzuki’s discography on the BIS label, featuring Bach’s complete works for harpsichord and his interpretations of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan (of which he has completed nearly fifty volumes of a project to record the complete series) have brought him many critical plaudits. In 2010 he and Bach Collegium Japan were awarded both a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année for their recording of Bach motets, which has also been honored in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award. Highlights of last season with Bach Collegium Japan featured twentieth anniversary concerts in Tokyo, a visit to the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and a U.S. tour that included an appearance at Carnegie Hall. Professor Suzuki combines his conducting career with his work as an organist and harpsichordist. Born in Kobe, he graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music with a degree in composition and organ performance and went on to study harpsichord and organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam under Ton Koopman and Piet Kee. He is founder and head of the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts. In April 2001 Professor Suzuki was decorated with the Federal Order of Merit from Germany.
Updated July 2011