With these words on the Bach Collegium Japan‘s FaceBook page, Carl and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. That means that the group has landed safely in Michigan where they will present their first concert on this U.S. tour. We were worried that they might cancel their trip, given the horrific situation in Japan with the earthquake, tsunami and now nuclear reactor crisis, but apparently, all members of the choir and orchestra are safe. In Michigan, the group will headline the Grand Rapids Bach Festival.
We will be leaving on Thursday night to fly to Chicago, arrive on Friday afternoon, then will drive to Valporaiso University, Indiana, on Saturday where we will hear this premier group present the Mass in B Minor on the second concert of their tour. Somewhere along the way we’ll attend a reception and hopefully, we will be able to watch Masaaki Suzuki, the director of the group, in rehearsal.
After Grand Rapids and Valparaiso, the Bach Collegium Japan will present the Mass in B Minor in New York’s Carnegie Hall, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and at Yale University in New Haven, CT. With the Mass in B Minor, Masaaki Suzuki will lead an international roster of five soloists from five countries, including Hana Blazikova and Rachel Nicholls, sopranos; Clint van der Linde, alto; Gerd Turk, tenor; and Peter Kooij, bass. If you remember from reading my blog last summer, we met Peter Kooij on our trip to France, and gave him a box of Hawaiian chocolate macadamia nuts. We hope to speak to him again on this trip. (Yes, we’re bringing several boxes of Hawaiian chocolate macadamias with us!)
In April 2003, Carl and I flew to Los Angeles and heard the Bach Collegium Japan in person in Royce Hall at UCLA. On Friday night, they performed Bach’s St. John Passion and on Saturday, they performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. For Bach “junkies” like us, this was pure heaven. The only disappointment was that the auditorium was only about half full — but I understand that on the rest of the 2003 tour, they had full houses.
Carl convinced Allen Bauchle, our assistant choirmaster, to join us on the trip, so that means that there will be no Thursday night LCH choir rehearsal this week. The choir will be conducted by Keane Ishii and the organ will be played by Michael Lippert on Sunday morning. Please give these guys your support! Choir warmup will be at 9:15 am.