Masaaki Suzuki

Born 1954

Masaaki Suzuki

Conductor • Organ • Harpsichord

Biography

Masaaki Suzuki has acquired an outstanding reputation not only as an organ and harpsichord soloist, but also as a conductor. Since 1990 Suzuki has been the musical director of the Bach Collegium Japan. He works regularly with renowned European soloists and ensembles. Suzuki has won an enviable reputation for his interpretation of Bach’s cantatas on BIS. He has He remained Bach Collegium Japan’s 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.

Suzuki’s impressive repertoire on the BIS label, featuring Bach’s complete works for harpsichord and his interpretations of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas with Bach Collegium Japanhave brought him many critical plaudits – the Times has written:“it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour”. In 2010, Suzuki and his ensemble were awarded both a German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année for their recording of Bach motets, which was also honoured in 2011 with a BBC Music Magazine Award.

In addition to working with renowned period ensembles, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and Philharmonia Baroque, he’s often invited to conduct modern instrument orchestras in repertoire as diverse as Britten, Fauré, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Stravinsky.

Suzuki, began to play the organ at the age of 12 for church services every Sunday. After graduating from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music with a degree in composition and organ performance, he continued to study the harpsichord and organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam under Ton Koopman and Piet Kee. Having achieved Soloist Diplomas in both of his instruments in Amsterdam, he was awarded second prize in the Harpsichord Competition (Basso continuo) in 1980 and third Prize in the Organ Competition in 1982 in the Flanders Festival at Bruges, Belgium.

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