Bach Collegium Japan was founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to period instrument performances of great works from the Baroque period. Comprised of both Baroque orchestra and chorus, their activities include an annual concert series of Bach’s cantatas and a number of instrumental programs.  

Bach Collegium Japan records for BIS. 2014 saw the conclusion of their recorded cycle of J.S. Bach’s complete church cantatas, a project comprising more than fifty CDs, initiated in 1995. This achievement was recognized with a 2014 ECHO Klassik Editorial Achievement of the Year award. Their recording of Bach motets was honored with a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2010, and a BBC Music Magazine Award. Their recording of Mozart’s Mass in C minor was named as Recording of the Month by BBC Music Magazine in January 2017. The disc follows their first recording of Mozart—the Requiem—released in 2015.

Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki have shared their interpretations across the international music scene with performances in venues as far afield as Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, and Seoul, and at major festivals such as the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, New Zealand International Arts Festival, Ghent’s Festival of Flanders, and Festival Cervantino in Mexico. This performance marks the ensemble’s debut on the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series.

In 2010 the ensemble celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of special concerts in Tokyo. In 2013 they were invited to appear at New York’s Lincoln Center where Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan Choir collaborated with the New York Philharmonic to open its Bach Variations Festival. The 2013-14 season saw the ensemble debut in the Czech Republic at the Prague Spring Festival and in Mexico. A sold-out tour in fall 2015 marked their fifth visit to North America.

This season’s highlights include a return to North America performing at Yale University, Lincoln Center, University Musical Society, and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County; performances in Europe at the Thüringer Bachwochen and Leipzig Bachfest; a tour to Gronigen, Amsterdam, and Paris; and their debut in Switzerland at the Fribourg International Music Festival.

Bach Collegium Japan’s US tour is supported by Bunkacho, The Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal year 2017.


(November 2017)

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