Masaaki Suzuki, considered a leading authority on the works of J.S. Bach, founded the Bach Collegium Japan in 1990; he still serves as its music director, taking the ensemble regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the United States. He also works with renowned period ensembles such as Collegium Vocale Gent and Philharmonia Baroque in addition to conducting modern-instrument orchestras in works by composers as diverse as Britten, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Stravinsky.
Last season Mr. Suzuki made debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra. Highlights with Bach Collegium Japan included 20th anniversary concerts in Tokyo, a visit to the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and a U.S. tour that included an appearance at Carnegie Hall. His 2011–12 season engagements include the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Melbourne Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. In 2012 Bach Collegium Japan embarks on a European tour and festival appearances.
Mr. Suzuki is recording Bach's complete works for harpsichord and as well as Bach's major choral works and sacred cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan, with almost 50 volumes completed (on the BIS label). In 2010 he and the ensemble received a Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and a Diapason d'Or de l'Année for their recording of Bach motets, which in 2011 was also honored with a BBC Music Magazine Award. In April 2001 he was decorated with Das Verdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik from Germany.
Born in Kobe, Japan, Masaaki Suzuki 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. In addition to conducting, Mr. Suzuki continues to perform as organist and harpsichordist. Founder and head of the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts, he is currently Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, as well as the conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorum.