Bach Collegium Japan: Masaaki Suzuki, director & harpsichord & Roderick Williams, baritone
Wednesday, February 8, 2:00PM
Ordway Concert Hall
About 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 programmes. The award-winning ensemble has begun to explore classical repertoire, releasing a recording of Mozart’s Requiem in November 2014, which they followed up with their recent release of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor. The recording won the Choral category in the 2017 Gramophone Awards.
Bach Collegium Japan have acquired a formidable international reputation through their acclaimed recordings on the BIS label of the major choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach, including their recorded cycle of the complete Church Cantatas, and 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.
About Masaaki Suzuki
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 up an outstanding reputation for the expressive refinement and truth of his performances.
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 Professor Emeritus 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 until 2013, and regularly collaborates with Juilliard Historical Performance.
About Roderick Williams
Roderick Williams is one of the most sought after baritones of his generation. He performs a wide repertoire from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and is in demand as a recitalist worldwide.
He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses, and sings regularly with Major orchestras worldwide. Mr. Williams has an extensive discography, including numbers recordings of works by Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas, and as a composer, has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio. In December 2016 he won the prize for best choral composition at the British Composer Awards.
In 2015 he started a three year odyssey of the Schubert song cycles culminating in performances at the Wigmore Hall in the 2017/18 season and has subsequently recorded them for Chandos.
He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder in April 2016, is Artist in Residence for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 2020/21 for two seasons and won the RPS Singer of the Year award in May 2016. He was awarded an OBE for services to music in June 2017.