Midori SUZUKI, Yumiko KURISU
Yoshikazu MERA, Akira TACHIKAWA
Flauto traverso 1
Flauto traverso 2
Viola d'amore 1
Viola d'amore 2
Viola da gamba
Masaaki SUZUKI, Junko WADA
The BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN (BCJ) was founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki,
who remains its music director, with the aim of introducing Japanese audience to
period instru-ment performances of great works of the baroque period. As the name
of the ensemble indicates, its focus has been on the works of Johann Sebastian Bach
and those composers of German Protestant music who preceeded and influenced him,
such as Buxtehude, Shütz, Schein and Bshm.
The BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN comprises both baroque orchestra and chorus, and its maj
or activties include an annual three-concert series of Bach's cantatas and a number
of instrumental programmes. In addition, the BCJ presents major works such as Bach's
St.Matth-ew Passion, Handel's Messiah, or Monteverdi' s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, and smaller programmes for soloists or small vocal ensemble.
The BCJ is based in Tokyo but performs throughout Japan, and for many of its projects
it has been. pleased to welcome European artists such as Max van Egmond, Nancy Argenta,
Christoph Pr*gardien, Peter Kooy, Monika Frimmer, Michael Chance, Kai Wessel, Gerd
Türk, Michael Schopper and Concerto Palatine.
SUZUKI Organist, Harpsiehordist, Conductor
Born in 1954 at Kobe, Japan. When 12 years old, he began to play the organ for church
services every Sunday. After graduating from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts
and Music with a degree in composition and organ performance, he continued to study
harpsi-chord and organ at Sweelink Conservatorium Amsterdam under Prof.Ton Koopman
and Prof. Piet Kee. Having achieved Soloist Diplomas in both of his instruments in
Amsterdam, he was award-ed 2nd Prize in the Harpsichord Competition (Basso continuo)
in 1980 and 3rd Prize in the Organ Competition in 1982 in the Vlaanderen Festival
at Bruge, Belgium.
During 1981-83 he was a harpsichord instruc-tor at Hochschiile für Musik in
Duisburg, Germany. Since his return to Japan, not only has he given many concerts
as organist and harpsichordist all over country, but he has also organized a well-known
concert series at the chapel of Shoin Women's University in Kobe, where a French
classical organ built by Marc Garnier is installed. Meanwhile Masaaki Suzuki has
acquired an outstanding reputation not only as an organ and harpsichord soloist,
but also as a conduc-tor.
Since 1990 Suzuki has also been the musi-cal director of BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN, a
chamber choir and a baroque orchestra with period instruments which specialize in
reguler performances of Bach's "Kantatenabend" as well as other sacred
works. As the director of BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN, Suzuki works together regularly with
renowned European soloists and ensembles such as Max van Egmond, Nancy Argenta, Michael
Chance, Michael Schopper, Peter Kooy, Christoph Pr*gardien, Kai Wessel, Monika Frimmer,
Gerd Türk and Concerto Palatine. Since 1983 Suzuki has given organ concerts
in France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Swiss, Austria and other countries every summer.
As a professor of organ and harpsichord, he teaches at Tokyo National University
of Fine Arts and Music.
He began his music career as a member of the Limburg Cathedral choir. Later he
studied church music and chorus conducting at Hochschüle für Musik Frank-furt,
as well as baroque singing at Schola Cantorum Easel.
Türk often appears in major Music Festivals such as Innsbruck, Luzern, Paris
with Jacobs, Herreweghe, Christie, Koopman etc. He is a member of Cantus Csln directed
by Konrad JunghSnel, and often participates in projects of ENSEMBLE VOCALE EUROPEN
by Philippe Herreweghe. Türk's recordings include Bach's St. John Passion with
Koopman, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Virgine with Savall.
He completed the graduate divi-sion of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts
and Music. He was a recipient of Ataka Prize while attending there and also studied
in Italy and Germany. Since 1975, he sang at diverse places in Germany such as Heidelberg
Municipal Theatre and Dortmund Municipal Theatre.
He has appeared in many operas and concerts after his return to Japan as a leading
Japanese bass. This is his fourth coperformance with the BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN after
St. Matthew Passion ('91), St.John Passion ('93) and St.Matthew Passion ('94). He
is also a recipient of the 16th Jiro Opera Prize and is currently a member of Niki-kai
She graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She specialized
historical performance-practice and vocal technique of 17th- and 18th century. Kurisu
won the 2nd prize at the 4th Early Music Competition Yamanashi and the 2nd Tochigi
Kuranomachi Music Festival Award.
As a soloist of the BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN, Kurisu is active focusing around baroque
music such as Bach's Cantata Series, Monteverdi's Vespro, Handel's Messiah and Bach's
St. John Passion.
She was born in Kobe. Midori graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts and
is a recipient of Kyoto Music Society Award. Since 1991, Midori has been in the Netherlands
to study baroque singing with Max van Egmond at Early Music Academy Amsterdam and
vocal ensemble repertoires ranging from Gregorian Chants to the renais-sance and
the baroque period with Rebecca Stewart at Tilbrug Conservatory. In 1991 Midori appeared
as a soloist in the Bach Cantata Series organized by Gustav Leonhardt and Lucy van
Dael. Midori often takes charge of solo parts for BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN.
He was born in Miyazaki, 1971. Mera changed his major from tenor to counter-tenor
during his third year in college. He sang the solo alto part of Rossini's Petite
messe solennelle in October 1992 and the countertenor solo of Bernstein's Skylark
under the baton of Maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama in March 1994.
Mera is a winner of the highest prize at the 8th Early Music Competition Yamanashi
in May 1994 and the Gth Tochigi Kuranomachi Music Festeval Award. Mera has interest
in "Japanese Lieder" and won the 3rd prize at the 6th Sogakudo Japanese
Lied Competition '95. Mera often appear as a soloist for BACH COLLEGIUM JAPAN concerts.
He was born in 1968. Katano began his music career as a boy soprano at the age
of 7. He graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
Since 1993 Katano has been in Germany to study baroque singing. In 1994, he sang
the Evangelist part for Bach's St. John Passion in Hamburg receiving favorable criticism.
Katano is a member of NDR choir.
He graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. While active
in the field of sacred music such as Bach's Passions, B-minor Mass, Handel's Messiah
and German Lieder on one hand, his extensive activities include holding unique recitals
performing commissioned new works by Japanese younger composers. With the BACH COLLEGIUM
JAPAN, he has frequent-ly appeared in Bach's Cantata Series.