BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN and MASAAKI SUZUKI, conductor
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BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN
Masaaki Suzuki, Artistic Director and Conductor
Joanne Lunn, soprano
BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN
Bach Collegium Japan was founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki, its inspirational music director, 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.
They have acquired a formidable international reputation through their acclaimed recordings of the major choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach for the BIS label; 2014 saw the triumphant conclusion of their recorded cycle of the complete Church Cantatas, a huge undertaking comprising over fifty CDs initiated in 1995. This major achievement was recognized with a 2014 ECHO Klassick ‘Editorial Achievement of the Year’ award. Their recent recording of Bach Motets was honored with a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2010 and in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award. Masaaki Suzuki and the ensemble received the prestigious 45th Suntory Music Prize in 2014. The ensemble has now embarked upon extending their repertoire with a recent release of Mozart’s Requiem.
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, 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, the New Zealand International Festival and Ghent’s Festival of Flanders.
In 2010 the ensemble celebrated their 20th anniversary with a series of special concerts in Tokyo, and in 2013 they were invited to appear at New York’s Lincoln Center where Masaaki Suzuki and the choir collaborated with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to open its Bach Variations Festival. Last season’s highlights included the ensemble’s debut in Mexico at the Festival Cervantino and in the Czech Republic at the Prague Spring Festival. This season’s highlights include a tour of North America performing in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Washington, as well as a major European tour including a weekend residency at the Barbican Centre in London, re-invitations to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris and debut appearances at Dublin’s National Concert Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Bach Collegium Japan is managed worldwide (excluding North America) by Hazard Chase, www.hazardchase.com
Bach Collegium Japan is represented in North America by Frank Salomon Associates, www.franksalomon.com
MASAAKI SUZUKI, Artistic Director and Conductor
Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of Bach. He has remained their Music Director ever since, taking them regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the USA and building an outstanding reputation for the expressive refinement and truth of his performances.
In addition to working with renowned period ensembles, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and Philharmonia Baroque, he is invited to conduct repertoire as diverse as Britten, Fauré, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Stravinsky with orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Melbourne Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic. This season debuts include the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.
Suzuki’s impressive discography on the BIS label featuring all Bach’s major choral works, as well as complete works for harpsichord, has brought him many critical plaudits. The Times has written: “it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour”. 2014 marked the triumphant conclusion of Bach Collegium Japan's epic recording of the complete Church Cantatas initiated in 1995 and comprising fifty-five volumes. This major achievement was recognized with a 2014 ECHO Klassick 'Editorial Achievement of the Year' award. In 2010, Suzuki and his ensemble 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 was also honored in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award.
Highlights with Bach Collegium Japan this season include a tour of North America to perform in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Washington, as well as a European tour including a weekend residency at the Barbican Centre, London, return visits to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, and debut appearances at Dublin’s National Concert Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Last season saw the ensemble debut in Mexico and in the Czech Republic at the Prague Spring Festival.
Masaaki Suzuki combines his conducting career with his work as 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 Founder and head of the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts, he was on the choral conducting faculty at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music from 2009-2013, where he remains affiliated as the principal conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum.
In 2012 Suzuki was awarded with the Leipzig Bach Medal and in 2013 the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize. In April 2001, he was decorated with ‘Das Verdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik’ from Germany. Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan received the prestigious 45th Suntory Music Prize in 2014.
Mo. Suzuki is represented by Hazard Chase, www.hazardchase.com
JOANNE LUNN, soprano
Joanne Lunn studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where she was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal.
Joanne’s operatic engagements have included her ENO debut in Steven Pimlott’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Harry Christophers, the role of Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Venice conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and directed by David Pountney, a tour of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Spain and semi staged productions of Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Paris and for the Beijing International Music Festival (directed by Sir Jonathan Miller).
In concert, Joanne has performed in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Sir Roger Norrington, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and with the LSO at the Barbican Hall. She has appeared as soloist in Messiah in the Halle Handel Festival, at St. Mark’s Venice, and with Bach Collegium Japan (Suzuki) and with the Mozarteum Orchester in Salzburg, as well as in Handel’s L’Allegro and Haydn’s Heiligmesse, Harmoniemesse and Paukenmesse with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Her busy concert schedule has also featured Bach’s Magnificat at the BBC Proms with the Academy of Ancient Music, and with Bach Collegium Japan, Rutter’s Requiem with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer, Haydn’s The Seasons with the Huddersfield Choral Society, Fauré’s Requiem in Toulouse directed by Marc Minkowski, Bach Mass in B Minor with Bach Collegium Japan conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, with the Academy of Ancient Music in Alzenau and with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Minkowski, for the Akademie der alte Musik, and at the Sage, Gateshead. She has appeared in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor for the City of London Sinfonia and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mozart Requiem in Moscow and at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg, Purcell’s The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation and The Fairy Queen in Salzburg, Easter Oratorio with the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales under Nicholas Kraemer, Nelson Mass for the Ulster Orchestra, Rutter Mass of the Children at St Paul’s Cathedral and at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Harmoniemesse for Scottish Chamber Orchestra, L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato at the Handel Festival in Göttingen, The Creation at Cadogan Hall and Zelenka’s Missa Votiva for Musik Podium Stuttgart, Mozart Exsultate Jubilate, Mahler 4th Symphony at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow. Further concert performances have ranged from Saul with Cappella Amsterdam and with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, to the first performances of J.C Bach’s Mailänder Vesperpsalmen with Concerto Köln at the Frauenkirche, Dresden, Bach Cantatas with Le Concert Lorrain, Belinda Dido & Aeneas in Warsaw, Israel in Egypt with Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, St John Passion with Les Musiciens du Louvre (Minkowski) and Graun’s Der Tod Jesu with Collegium Vocale. She also appeared at the Niedersächsische Musiktage with Bach Collegium Japan in programmes of Bach Cantatas, and also in Christmas Oratorio at the Tonhalle, Zürich (Suzuki) and concerts with Bachakademie Stuttgart and Tafelmusik (Toronto).
Joanne features as a soloist on many CD recordings. Her discography includes Vivaldi’s Laudate Pueri with The King’s Consort (Hyperion), Haydn Masses with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir (Philips), John Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by the composer (Collegium), Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantatas cycle recorded during the Bach Pilgrimage in 2000 (Deutsche Grammophon/Soli Deo Gloria), Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Frieder Bernius and the Stuttgart Kammerchor (Carus), Bach Motets with The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM), Messiah with the RPO and John Rutter, Bach Wedding Cantata BWV 202 with Bach Collegium Japan (BIS), and Bach St John Passion with the Dunedin Consort (Linn), which was nominated for a Gramophone award.
Recent engagements include Fairy Queen at the Konzerthaus, Vienna, concerts at the Rhine Valley Music Festival, a series of concerts at the Oregon Bach Festival and Monteverdi Vespers with the Dunedin Consort.
Engagements in 2015/2016 include a tour of L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato with Rudolf Lutz, Bach Cantatas with Ensemble Pygmalion (Raphaël Pichon), a US tour with Bach Collegium Japan, Messiah with Tafelmusik (Toronto), Israel in Egypt and St John Passion with Concerto Copenhagen and concerts with the Dunedin Consort and Knabenchor Hannover.
Ms. Lunn is represented by Hazard Chase, www.hazardchase.com