The Masaaki Suzuki Interview

Ahead of our performances of Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Masaaki Suzuki we sat down for a chat with the conductor.

Very few musicians know Bach in the way that Masaaki Suzuki does. With his own ensemble, Bach Collegium Japan, he has recorded all the composer’s cantatas, as well as the Christmas Oratorio, passions, organ music and Orchestral Suites. He made time in his busy schedule to speak to us about why Bach is his “home”, what makes the Christmas Oratorio special and working with the OAE.

You can listen to the interview in full (lasting about 25 minutes) or in shorter instalments below.

Masaaki was speaking to Doug Buist, the OAE’s Marketing Director.

Part 1

In the first part of the interview we talk about the importance of Bach’s music to Masaaki’s career, how he first encountered Bach’s music and Bach’s motivation for creating this work in six parts.

Part 2

In the second part of the interview we discuss the structure of the Oratorio, the importance of joy, and Handel’s Messiah

Part 3

In this part, Masaaki tells us how the different musical elements of the Christmas Oratorio come together to make it special for him.

Part 4

Masaaki picks his key moments in the Oratorio to listen out for in the penultimate instalment.

Part 5

In the final segment, we discuss working with the OAE, the universal appeal of Bach, and Masaaki gives us his marketing campaign pitch in under 30 seconds!