Masaaki Suzuki honored by American Bach Society

Masaaki Suzuki. Photo by Marco Borggreve

During its biennial meeting and conference, which was held at Yale University in late April, the American Bach Society awarded Masaaki Suzuki, an artist-in-residence at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and principal guest conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorum, an honorary membership “for his accomplishments as a performer and champion of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach,” society President Markus Rathey said.

“Masaaki Suzuki has had an impact on the performance of Baroque music not only in this country but all over the world,” Rathey, the Robert S. Tangeman Professor in the Practice of Music History at the Yale School of Music, said. “As a conductor, harpsichordist, and organist, Suzuki has been one of the most prolific performers of Bach’s music for more than two decades.”

During the conference, Suzuki led Yale alumni in a performance of Bach’s B-minor Mass.

 

Published May 7, 2018
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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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Masaaki Suzuki to receive Bach Medal 2012

The 2012 Bach Medal, awarded by the city of Leipzig, was presented to the Japanese conductor, organist, and harpsichordist Masaaki Suzuki on June 8, at a ceremony during the Leipzig Bach Festival. Suzuki, the founder and director of Bach Collegium Japan, is a member of the Yale faculty and the director of Yale Schola Cantorum.

The Bach Medal is awarded annually since 2003 to musicians whose work focuses on Bach in a significant way.  The jury, which voted unanimously in favor of Suzuki, noted that Suzuki has made particularly significant contributions to the dissemination of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach in his homeland of Japan.

Bach Collegium Japan was the first Japanese ensemble to specialize in historically-informed performance practice. The jury’s decision stated, in part: “concerning the repertoire of Bach, which has always been much-appreciated in Japan… [Suzuki has] created an awareness for a scientifically and historically oriented performance practice in Japan and the entire Asian region.”

The Bach Medal was awarded during a public ceremony on Friday, June 8 in Leipzig’s Old City Hall. Later that day, Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan played at St. Thomas Church, where Suzuki directed a performance of the Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244b, in the version from 1729. The soloists will be Hana Blažiková, Rachel Nicholls (soprano), Robin Blaze (contralto), Gerd Türk (tenor – Evangelist), and Peter Kooij (bass). MORE

Published June 11, 2012
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Yale Collection of Musical Instruments joins live streaming

Masaaki Suzuki’s harpsichord recital at the Collection of Musical Instruments on Tuesday, April 26 will stream live at music.yale.edu/media. This is the first time that the School of Music will live-stream from the Collection.

photo by Marco Borggreve

Suzuki performs regularly as a conductor as well as a keyboardist. In this recital, he will play music from France, England, and Germany, with compositions by Louis Couperin (the uncle of the better-known François Couperin), William Byrd, Jakob Froberger, Dietrich Buxtehude, and – Suzuki’s specialty – Johann Sebastian Bach.

The program opens with Couperin’s Suite in A minor and Passacaille in C major, followed by Byrd’s Ninth Pavane and Gaillarde, from My Ladye Nevells Booke. Suzuki will then play Froberger’s Partita No. 12 in C major, “Lamento sopra la dolorosa,” and Buxtehude’s Prelude in G minor. He will close the program with two works by Bach: the Prelude and Fugue in E-flat minor, BWV 853, and the Partita No. 6 in E minor.

Masaaki Suzuki will play two of the Collection’s harpsichords: a Flemish instrument made by Andreas Ruckers in Antwerp around 1640, and an “expressive double” made in Paris by François Etienne Blanchet the Elder around 1740.

The recital will take place on Tuesday, April 26 at 5 pm at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments (15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven). Tickets to this recital are $20, $15 for seniors, $10 for students. The live stream can be accessed at music.yale.edu/media.

For more information, visit music.yale.edu or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

Published April 25, 2011
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Masaaki Suzuki gives a solo harpsichord recital at the Collection April 26

“Astonishingly beautiful, even glittering, harpsichord playing and sound.”
—BBC Music Magazine

The Yale School of Music presents a solo harpsichord recital by the conductor and keyboardist Masaaki Suzuki on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 5 pm at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments (15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven).

photo by Marco Borggreve

Since joining the Yale faculty in 2009, Suzuki has won over New Haven audiences with his conducting of Yale Schola Cantorum as well as Bach Collegium Japan, the ensemble he founded over twenty years ago. He also performs regularly on both harpsichord and organ. In this recital, he will play music from France, England, and Germany, with compositions by Louis Couperin (the uncle of the better-known François Couperin), William Byrd, Jakob Froberger, Dietrich Buxtehude, and – Suzuki’s specialty – Johann Sebastian Bach.

The program opens with Couperin’s Suite in A minor and Passacaille in C major, followed by Byrd’s Ninth Pavane and Gaillarde, from My Ladye Nevells Booke. Suzuki will then play Froberger’s Partita No. 12 in C major, “Lamento sopra la dolorosa,” and Buxtehude’s Prelude in G minor. He will close the program with two works by Bach: the Prelude and Fugue in E-flat minor, BWV 853, and the Partita No. 6 in E minor.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, one of the foremost institutions of its kind, preserves and exhibits musical instruments from antiquity to the present. Many instruments are maintained in playing condition and are featured in performances such as this one in the fine acoustic of the upstairs gallery. Masaaki Suzuki will play two of the Collection’s harpsichords: a Flemish instrument made by Andreas Ruckers in Antwerp around 1640, and an “expressive double” made in Paris by François Etienne Blanchet the Elder around 1740 (pictured at right).

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Published April 5, 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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