Bach Collegium Japan was founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki, its inspiring Music Director, with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to period instrument performances of great works from the baroque period. Bach Collegium Japan is comprised of both baroque orchestra and chorus, and their major activities include an annual concert series of Bach’s cantatas and a number of instrumental programs.
Since 1995 they have acquired a formidable international reputation as one of the world’s most exceptional ensembles of its kind through their acclaimed recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Church Cantatas for the BIS label. By November 2008 they had already released 41 CDs of J. S. Bach’s Church Cantatas.
Bach Collegium Japan has shared their noted interpretations on the international music scene with appearances at major festivals in Edinburgh, Santiago de Compostela, Tel Aviv, Leipzig and Melbourne. In recent seasons they have been heard in Europe’s major music centers including successful concerts in Italy and Spain.
Bach Collegium Japan made a highly successful North American debut in April 2003 with seven concerts in six cities all across the United States: at Carnegie Hall in New York, in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Boston, performing the St. Matthew and the St. John Passions of J. S. Bach. In May 2005, Bach Collegium Japan performed in Seoul, and in August, appeared in Germany at Ansbach Bachwhoche and Schleswig Holstein Music Festival.
In 2006, Bach Collegium Japan toured the US with an instrumental ensemble in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Bethlehem (PA), Washington D.C., New York (Zankel Hall/Carnegie). In May 2006, Bach Collegium Japan performed 10 concerts in five countries in Europe including the debut in Madrid, Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw, London at the Barbican performing the B-Minor Mass, and Magnificat of J.S.Bach. In August 2007, Bach Collegium Japan performed the St. Matthew Passion at two festivals in Schwabisch Gmund & Ansbach in Germany, and made their BBC Proms debut with a Cantata program.
Their November 2008 return to Europe included debuts in Paris, Berlin and Brussels and in January 2009, Bach Collegium Japan appeared at the Canary Islands’ Music Festival.
Maestro Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan look forward to their return to North America in March 2011 to perform Bach’s B-Minor Mass.