Masato Suzuki

Conductor, Piano, Organ, Composer

Biography

He is the music director and the co-founder of Ensemble Genesis. With its concert master, Yukie Yamaguchi, and brilliant players such as Andreas Böhlen or Takashi Kaketa, the ensemble offers a wide cross-genre programme from early music through contemporary music with original instruments. After their successful opening series, “Four Seasons”, they were featured by NHK, the national television programme in Japan in a unique programme of Biber, Hindemith, Feldmann or Niigaki, the composer in residence of the ensemble. Their recent performance, “Eurydice’s grief” (2011, co-production with Yokohama City) was highly acclaimed for its complex creation with music, dance, image, light and electronics sound.

In 2008, he founded German-Japanese Lied Forum together with Dominik Wörner (Bass baritone) and Goro Tamura (Art director). They created an entirely new “Lieder Abend” with Brahms’s song cycle “Die Schöne Magelone” in Tokyo, where the Märchen story was narrated by an actor and song texts were projected onto the linen on the stage with the 15 new oil paintings so that non-German listeners could perfectly follow the story without being disturbed by digital supertitles. After the success of their second project “Winterreise”, his wish to combine visual elements with music became more and more stronger and he exercised the same idea in the opera “L’incoronazione di Poppea” at New National Theater in Japan, his first opera performance as regisseur. Goro Tamura and he were co-regisseur for Wagner opera projects at Spring Festival in Tokyo in 2011 and 2012.

As a regular player and soloist of Bach Collegium Japan, he participates in concerts, tours and recordings of the whole cantatas by J.S. Bach (BIS) since 2002. He also reconstructed lost movements of cantata No. 37 or No. 190, which were also recorded in the series.

He is the principal organist of Ensemble Vox Luminis since 2009, who won the Grammphone Award of the year 2012 with its recording of Schütz “Musicalische Exequien” (Ricercar).

He is the principal conductor of Yokohama Sinfonietta.(2013-2015)

Masato is performing regularly in such festivals as Musikfest Bremen, Edinburgh Festival, Utrecht Oude Muziek, MA Festival Bruges etc, also as chamber music player in such ensemble as Sette Voci, Ensemble Vin Santo or Maro World. He has no barrier in his repertoire which extends to playing on historical Kabuki-Theatre (“Twelfth Night”, Yukio Ninagawa project, 2006), performing “The Art of Fugue” in a Live House (2009), conducting Gluck’s “Orfeo and Euridice” translated into historical Japanese by Ogai Mori(2012) or collaboration with Saburo Teshigawara and Rihoko Sato (2013).

In August 2013, he gave a recital in MA Festival in Bruges, which was acclaimed as “enough to call the festival succesful”.

As a composer, he started his career with a unique recital of his own pieces mixed with Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” performed by him. His “Apokalypsis II” was premièred by Sette Voci conducted by Peter Kooij. His “De Profundis Clamavi” for choir a cappella is annually performed by Bach Collegium Japan as a memorial to the terrible Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on the 11th of March, 2011, at Chofu (2012) and at The Saint Thomas Church in New York (2013).

Compositions:
“Safran” for choir and piano (text by Michizo Tachihara), commissioned by Chor Frosch
“YOKOHAMA” for organ and its combination mechanism, commissioned by Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall
“Apokalypsis I” for soprano, two violins, violoncello, percussion and piano, for his bachelor recital
“Apokalypsis II” for eight voices, commissioned by Peter Kooij and Sette Voci
“Apokalypsis III” for tenor, recorder, violin and organ, for his recital in St. Bavo Church in Haarlem
“Apokalypsis IV” for positive organ solo, for his recital “B→C” at Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall
“Apokalypsis V” for four instruments, commissioned by Musiker Witz
“De Profundis Clamavi” on Psalm 130 for choir a cappella, commissioned by Tokyo Musik Kreis.
Three fugues on Genevan Psalms, commissioned by Shinko Church
“An Anna Blume” for tenor and violin on the text of Kurt Schwitters, for his recital “Suzuki Masato exhibition”

He is the organist at Tokyo Oncho Church and Japanese Reformed Church in The Netherlands. He also gives regular master classes for organists.

He was born in 1981 at Den Haag in The Netherlands and lives in Voorburg, The Netherlands and is performing world wide from Tokyo till Mexico City.

He received following higher education in Japan and The Netherlands.

Bachelor Degree
Composition at Tokyo National University for Fine Arts and Music
Master Degree
Early Music at Tokyo National University for Fine Arts and Music
Organ at Royal Conservatory in The Hague
Improvisation at Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Cum laude)

He studied composition with Masayuki Nagatomi, Atsutada Otaka and Hiroshi Aoshima, Conducting with Yukio Kitahara, Organ with Masaaki Suzuki, Jos van der Kooij, Makiko Hayashima, Keiko Utsumi, Harpsichord with Bob van Asperen, Piano/Fortepiano/Chamber Music with Michio Kobayashi, Korad Richter, Akira Miyoshi, Toru Kimura, Jakob Stämpfli, Tomoko Kato, Stanley Hoogland, Satoru Sunahara, Roger Vignoles.

(April 2016)

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