Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 8:00pm
Robin Blaze, countertenor, and Masaaki Suzuki, harpsichord
Music of Purcell
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 | 5 PM
free; no tickets required
Robin Blaze is now established in the front rank of interpreters of Purcell, Bach and Handel, and his career has taken him to concert halls and festivals in Europe, North and South America, Japan and Australia. His opera engagements have included Athamas Semele at Covent Garden; DidymusTheodora for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Arsamenes Xerxes, Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamor Jephtha for English National Opera; and Bertarido Rodelinda at the Göttingen Handel Festival.
He works with many distinguished conductors in the early music field: Harry Christophers, Emmanuelle Haïm, Philippe Herreweghe, Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman, Paul Goodwin, Gustav Leonhardt, Robert King, Nicholas Kraemer, Sir Charles Mackerras, Trevor Pinnock and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. His work with Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan has been particularly praised by critics: the two latest CD releases, Bach’s B Minor Mass and the three solo countertenor cantatas, have been described as “heart-stopping” in Gramophone.
Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of Bach. He has remained the Collegium’s music director ever since, taking the group 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. In addition to conducting, Suzuki is also renowned as an organist and harpsichordist.
He is regularly invited to work with renowned European soloists and groups, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and the Freiburger Barockorchester; he recently appeared in London with the Britten Sinfonia in a program of Britten, Mozart and Stravinsky. Forthcoming engagements with other ensembles include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Nagoya Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2001 Suzuki was decorated with the Federal Order of Merit from Germany.
Suzuki’s impressive discography on the BIS label includes his interpretations with Bach Collegium Japan of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas. With forty volumes now completed, the Times has written: “it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigor.”
His commitment to sacred music is reflected both in his deep reflection on theological meanings in the music he conducts, and also in his interest in music of congregations. Following his return to Japan from the Netherlands, he launched a project to translate the entire Genevan Psalter into Japanese. This collection is now used in Christian Churches throughout Japan.