The Bach Collegium Japan (= BCJ) was founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki, who remains its music director, with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to great works of the baroque era on period instruments. As the name of the ensemble indicates, its main focus has been the works of J.S. Bach and those composers of German Protestant music who preceded and influenced him, such as Dietrich Buxtehude, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Hermann Schein and Georg Böhm.
The BCJ comprises both baroque orchestra and chorus, and its major activities include an annual four-concert series of Bachís cantatas and a number of instrumental programmes. In addition, the BCJ presents major works such as J.S. Bachís Passions, George Frideric Handelís Messiah and Monteverdiís Vespers, and smaller programmes for soloists or small vocal ensembles. The BCJ is based in Tokyo and Kobe but performs throughout Japan, and for many of the its projects it has been placed to welcome European artists such as Max von Egmond, Nancy Argenta, Christoph Prégardien, Peter Kooy, Monika Frimmer, Michael Chance, Kai Wessel, Gerd Türk, Michael Schopper and Concerto Palatino.