Bach Collegium Japan performs Bach motets March 3

On Sunday, March 3, conductor Masaaki Suzuki will lead the Bach Collegium Japan in a performance of motets by J.S. Bach.  The concert will take place at 5 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street). Tickets are $20, $10 for students, and all proceeds will be donated to ongoing earthquake relief efforts in Japan.

Masaaki Suzuki, the founding director of Bach Collegium Japan, is Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting at Yale, where he directs the Yale Schola Cantorum.

Suzuki founded Bach Collegium Japan in 1990 to introduce Japanese audiences to period instrument performances of great works from the Baroque period. The ensemble consists of both orchestra and chorus; major activities include an annual concert series of Bach cantatas and a number of instrumental programs. It enjoys an international reputation through performances all over the world, and through acclaimed recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s church cantatas for the BIS label.

The Bach Collegium Japan’s 2013 U.S. tour includes performances in Avery Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic and Yale Schola Cantorum March 6–9.

Masaaki Suzuki returns to Yale in April to conduct Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard415 in performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor in New Haven, New York, and on tour to Japan and Singapore.

The U.S. tour of the Bach Collegium Japan Chorus is supported by the Japan Foundation and arranged by International Arts Foundation. Yale Institute of Sacred Music sponsors the New Haven concert. Tickets are available at music.yale.edu.

Published February 25, 2013
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Bach Collegium Japan gives master classes

On Saturday, 26 March 2011, members of the Bach Collegium Japan presented a series of midday master classes at three different venues on campus. The ensemble was at Yale to perform Bach’s Mass in B minor in Woolsey Hall that evening. Several of its members took the time to work with musicians from the Yale School of Music.

Hidemi Suzuki, right, works with Jacques Wood, left. Photo by Susan E. Thompson.

Gerd Türk, tenor, and Peter Kooij, bass, met with members of the Yale Schola Cantorum in the Great Hall of the Institute for Sacred Music. Ryo Terakado, baroque violin, and Hidemi Suzuki, baroque cello, coached members of the Yale Baroque Ensemble (YBE) at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. Jean-François Madeuf, baroque trumpet, and Robert Howes, baroque timpani, offered technical and interpretative advice to brass and percussion participants on the stage of Woolsey Hall.

Click here for a trumpet student’s account of the master class in brass and percussion.

In the words of Jacques Wood, who performed Beethoven’s Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 69, at the Collection of Musical Instruments, “Professor Suzuki is not only a brilliant cellist but also a phenomenal musician whose knowledge of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century historical performance practice is particularly noteworthy. Having had the opportunity to work with him on the Op. 69 sonata was a rare opportunity for me, and I learned much from his insights.”

Read this previous post for further information about the guest artists.

All master classes at the Collection are free and open to the public without charge. News about future master classes will be posted on the School of Music’s website.

Published April 1, 2011
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Student Viewpoint: master class in natural trumpet

by Andreas Stoltzfus ’11MM

It was a great pleasure to go to the masterclass given by Jean-Francois Madeuf and his natural trumpet colleagues. Madeuf began the masterclass by speaking about the difference between natural trumpets and baroque trumpets. A natural trumpet has no system of valves or vent holes to alter the pitch which means that it is limited to only the notes of the natural harmonic series. A baroque trumpet is a trumpet used to play baroque music to which has been added a modern system such as vent holes; these allow the instrument to play notes outside of the natural harmonic series.

Madeuf is the most highly regarded natural trumpeter in the world and plays with an incredibly beautiful, pure tone. He also plays perfectly in tune in the high register, a great feat for the natural trumpeter. As you go higher in the instrument’s register, many of the notes in the natural harmonic series are out of tune; it is up to the player to “lip,” or bend, these notes in tune. Some notes – A”, for example – are particularly difficult to play because the notes Ab” and Bb” are in the natural harmonic series, and one has to lip these pitches into tune. Madeuf played these notes in tune with ease and mastery.

Natural trumpet (top) vs. modern valved trumpet.

Madeuf also spoke about the history of trumpet playing. The trumpet was accepted into art music in the early seventeenth century, when composers began writing into the high register of the instruments. Players had to develop the technique to play these notes in tune.

Madeuf spoke about three things needed to produce sound: generator, vibrator, and resonator. The generator is the wind power, and the vibrator is the lips vibrating in the mouthpiece. Madeuf emphasized that the resonator was the player’s whole body. He spoke about finding resonance in the body in a similar way to great singers. He related the idea of finding resonance to choosing a correct mouthpiece, and suggested that natural trumpeters play larger rather than smaller mouthpieces when playing baroque music in order achieve the best sound. Most trumpeters, Madeuf believes, play mouthpieces that are too small, and as a result the sound is not appropriate for baroque music. He showed his mouthpieces, which have significantly larger rim diameters than those used by the standard modern trumpeter, and spoke about the great jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, who plays on a rather large mouthpiece compared to most jazz trumpeters. MORE

Published April 1, 2011
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Members of Bach Collegium Japan give master classes at Collection of Musical Instruments

Members of the Bach Collegium Japan will offer a series of master classes on Saturday, March 26, before their performance that evening of Bach’s Mass in B minor. The three master classes will take place Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm at at various Yale venues. All are open to the public without charge.

Vocal class

Gerd Türk, tenor, and Peter Kooij, bass (pictured at right in a photo by Marco Borggreve), will give a vocal masterclass featuring members of the Yale Schola Cantorum in the Great Hall of the Institute for Sacred Music.

Gerd Türk is a sought-after soloist who tours Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan, North and South America, and Australia. He has been a member of prestigious ensembles such as Cantus Köln and Gilles Binchois and is also an opera performer. He has made over 100 recordings on Sony, Erato, BIS, BMG, Virgin, and Harmonia Mundi France. Türk is a professor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland and gives master classes throughout Europe and Asia.

Peter Kooij in an active soloist throughout the world who has made over one hundred recordings for Philips, Sony Classical, Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, EMI, and BIS. He is the artistic director of the Ensemble Vocal Européen. Kooij  has taught at the Sweelinck Conservatorium (Amsterdam), Musikhochschule (Hannover), and the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He has given master classes in Japan and throughout Europe.

Music for Strings and Keyboard

Ryo Terakado, baroque violin, and Hidemi Suzuki, baroque cello, will give a masterclass on music for strings and keyboard instruments. Held in the upstairs gallery at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, this class will feature members of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. These performances will feature the Collection’s 1881 Erard grand piano and its Blanchet harpsichord (pictured at left), made in Paris ca. 1740.

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Published March 22, 2011
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Bach Collegium Japan performance March 26 to benefit earthquake relief in Japan

Yale Institute of Sacred Music presents Bach Collegium Japan and music director Masaaki Suzuki in Bach’s Mass in B minor

Masaaki Suzuki (photo by Marco Borggreve)

The renowned Bach Collegium Japan, conducted by its founder Masaaki Suzuki, will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor at Woolsey Hall (500 College Street at Grove Street, New Haven) on Saturday, March 26 at 8pm. The Yale Institute of Sacred Music presents this concert to benefit Yale’s relief efforts for the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. All proceeds from ticket sales and donations received at the performance will be forwarded by Yale to the Red Cross for its relief work in Japan.

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. Since 1995 it has acquired a formidable reputation as one of the world’s most exceptional ensembles of its kind, particularly through its acclaimed recordings of Bach’s church cantatas for the BIS label.

Music director Masaaki Suzuki is a member of the faculty of the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He and the Bach Collegium Japan are touring North America this month performing Bach’s Mass in B minor.

The March 26 benefit performance will feature Hana Blazikova and Rachel Nicholls, sopranos; Clint van der Linde, countertenor; Gerd Türk, tenor; and Peter Kooij, bass. Bach scholar Markus Rathey, an associate professor of music history at Yale, will give a pre-concert talk at 7 pm in the Presidents Room in Woolsey Hall.

Tickets to this benefit performance are $15, $8 students. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit music.yale.edu or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158. For information about Yale’s relief efforts, please visit relief.yale.edu.

Published March 22, 2011
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