The Japanese organist, harpsichordist and conductor, Masaaki Suzuki, began to play the organ at the age of 12 for church services every Sunday. After graduating from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music with a degree in composition and organ performance, he continued to study the harpsichord and organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam under Ton Koopman and Piet Kee. Having achieved Soloist Diplomas in both of his instruments in Amsterdam, he was awarded second prize in the Harpsichord Competition (Basso continuo) in 1980 and third Prize in the Organ Competition in 1982 in the Flanders Festival at Bruges, Belgium.
From 1981 to 1983 Masaaki Suzuki was a harpsichord instructor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Duisburg, Germany. Since his return to Japan, he has not only given many concerts as organist and harpsichordist all over the country, but has organized an acclaimed concert series at the chapel of Shoin Women¹s University in Kobe, where a French classical organ built by Marc Garnier is installed.
Meanwhile Masaaki Suzuki has acquired an outstanding reputation not only as an organ and harpsichord soloist, but also as a conductor. Since 1990 Suzuki has been the musical director of the Bach Collegium Japan; as such, he works regularly with renowned European soloists and ensembles. Suzuki has won an enviable reputation for his interpretation of Bach’s cantatas on BIS. In addition, Suzuki is recording J.S. Bach’s complete harpsichord music for BIS.
Since 1983 Masaaki Suzuki has given organ concerts in France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and other countries every summer. In July 1995 and 1997 Suzuki was invited by Philippe Herreweghe to conduct Collegium Vocale, Ghent.
As a professor of organ and harpsichord, Masaaki Suzuki teaches at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. In May 2009 he was appointed as Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting at The Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music and conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum, the University’s renowned chamber choir. The two-year appointment will begin July 1, 2009.