Bach Collegium Japan, chorus & orchestra

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.

They have acquired a formidable international reputation through their acclaimed recordings of the major choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach for the BIS label; this season sees the triumphant conclusion of their recorded cycle of the complete Church Cantatas, a huge undertaking comprising over fifty CDs initiated in 1995. Their recent recording of Bach Motets was honoured with a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2010 and also in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award.

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 and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

In 2010 the ensemble celebrated their 20th anniversary with a series of special concerts in Tokyo, and last season included performances at the Musikfest Bremen as well as appearances at New York’s Lincoln Center where Masaaki Suzuki and the choir were invited to collaborate with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to open its Bach Variations Festival. This season they undertake their first visit to the New Zealand International Arts Festival and embark upon another major European tour during which they bring Bach’s St John Passion and a Cantata programme to cities such as Barcelona, Lyon, Paris and Toulouse.