June 2020 Subscription Concerts to be cancelled
As part of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19 infection, the NHK Symphony Orchestra will, with regret, call off the June subscription concerts (all 6 concerts in 3 programs). There will be no performance of any kind (including those without audience) and therefore no FM or TV broadcast live or delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to those who have been looking forward to the performances, but we ask for your kind understanding.
Tickets for the concerts will be refunded, so please keep the ticket/s you have purchased safe. As for how to receive the refund, either N-kyo guide or the ticket agency where you purchased the ticket/s will be contacting you sometime later.
NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo
The 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s Birth
- Beethoven / Missa solemnis D Major Op. 123Program Note (PDF)
Masaaki Suzuki, conductorFirst and foremost, Masaaki Suzuki’s performances of Bach are what have brought him international fame. Along with his performances as an organist and a harpsichordist, his activities with the Bach Collegium Japan, a choral and instrumental ensemble of period music he established in 1990, have borne fruit in modern day Bach performances. Included amongst Suzuki’s achievements is his grand project of recording Bach’s complete sacred and secular cantatas, which was initiated in 1995 and concluded in 2018, comprising sixty-five volumes. In addition to Suzuki’s work with Bach Collegium Japan, he frequently works with overseas orchestras of both period and modern instruments, giving a fresh approach to the works of his wide range of repertoire, from Haydn to Mahler to Stravinsky.
Suzuki studied composition and organ at the Tokyo University of the Arts and went onto study at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam under Ton Koopman and Piet Kee. He helped found the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts, where he taught for 20 years till 2010. Among many awards Suzuki has received are the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2001), Medal with Purple Ribbon of the Japanese Government (2011) and the Suntory Music Award (2013), which he shares with Bach Collegium Japan. This is his first collaboration with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
[Masaaki Suzuki by Takaki Yazawa, music critic]
Ann-Helen Moen, sopranoNorwegian soprano Ann-Helen Moen was born in Molde, and studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen and pursued further studies at the Opera Academy in Copenhagen. She launched her professional career as a member at the Graz Opera in Austria, and has since sang in prestigious venues including the Staatsoper Hannover, the Zürich Opera and the Royal Danish Opera. She has specialized in works of Mozart, and has sung the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Pamina in the Magic Flute. She has also made guest appearances in orchestral concerts with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra among many. With the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki, she sang in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis in 2017 and Symphony No. 9 in January 2019. This is her first collaboration with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
[Ann-Helen Moen by Haruo Yamada, music critic]
Olivia Vermeulen, mezzo sopranoDutch mezzo soprano Olivia Vermeulen studied at the Musikhochschule Detmold and under Julie Kaufmann in Berlin as well as participated in master classes by Andreas Scholl, Thomas Quasthoff and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
In 2018, she made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker as a soloist conducted by Daniel Harding and won artistic acclaim for singing the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro under René Jacobs. In January 2019, she made her debut at the Opéra National de Paris. She has also been actively working on contemporary operatic works, and joined the world premiere performance of Philippe Manoury’s Kein Licht in 2017. She has worked with the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki in Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor in 2015. This is her first collaboration with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
[Olivia Vermeulen by Haruo Yamada, music critic]
Benjamin Bruns, tenorGerman tenor Benjamin Bruns was born in Hannover. After studying at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hamburg, he launched his professional career at the Theater Bremen as well as at the Cologne Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper. His operatic repertoire include roles of Mozart’s works such as Tamino in the Magic Flute, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ferrando in Così fan tutte as well as Count Almaviva in the Barber of Seville. He has also sung in concerts with renowned orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Münchner Philharmoniker and the Bamberger Symphoniker. In 2018, he made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival, and in August 2019, he was a soloist in Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in the inaugural concert of Kirill Petrenko as Principal Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. This is the first time for him to work with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
[Benjamin Bruns by Haruo Yamada, music critic]
Christian Immler, baritoneGerman baritone Christian Immler studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He is particularly known for his outstanding performances of early music, singing works such as Mass in B Minor, the St. Matthew Passion and the St. John Passion with the Concentus Musicus Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski, on the other hand, he also actively engages himself in modern era repertoire singing as a soloist to Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony. Apart from singing, he devotes his time to educating young artists as a professor at the Conservatories of Lausanne and Fribourg. He has often worked with the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki, and sang Mozart Great Mass in C Minor in 2015, and Bach St. Matthew Passion in April 2019. This is the first time to work with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
[Christian Immler by Haruo Yamada, music critic]
Bach Collegium Japan, chorusThe Bach Collegium Japan (BCJ) is an ensemble of a chorus and an orchestra of period instruments founded by Masaaki Suzuki in 1990 (The BCJ will appear without the orchestra on this occasion). The performances and recordings of the complete church cantatas of J.S. Bach which took 18 years to finish after starting in 1995 have not only contributed to Bach’s music becoming widely embraced in Japan but through many international CD releases also popularly heard and artistically acclaimed worldwide. Apart from their subscription concerts, they often perform overseas, and have been invited to renowned festivals including the Leipzig Bach Festival and the BBC Proms as well as major concert halls. They mainly take up religious music from the Baroque period, however in recent years, they have expanded their repertoire to the classical period. Their concert of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis held in 2017 draw an enthusiastic response from the audience. The chorus prides itself on a nearly 30-year long career under Masaaki Suzuki, the Music Director, and we may look forward to its activities expanding further under Masato Suzuki, who assumed the position of Principal Conductor of the ensemble in 2018.
[Bach Collegium Japan by Tsutomu Nasuda, music critic]
Tickets go on sale from Sunday, March 1, 2020 / Ticket for subscriber: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
- *Subscribers receive a 10% discount (Available at N-Kyo Guide and NHKSO WEB Ticket)
- *Tickets for this concert may be purchased at N-Kyo Guide and NHKSO WEB Ticket only.
- *For wheelchair-accessible seats, please refer to the N-Kyo Guide.
For further information and subscription application please call N-Kyo Guide at 03-5793-8161
Jump to NHKSO WEB Ticket (Accesible from Japan only)
- *Repertoire, conductor, soloists and program order are subject to change without notice.
- *Pre-school children are not allowed in the concert hall