A broadcasting choir boasting an 80-year
history will give us the flavor of the UK

It is the UK's only professional chamber choir organized by BBC. Its predecessor was "Wireless Chorus," formed in 1924 two years after the start of BBC, to sing in a radio broadcasting program. It is a historic broadcasting choir-in 2004 marks the 80th anniversary of its formation. Its schedule is quite busy with performances in radio and TV in addition to recording and concert activities. Their present Chief Conductor is Stephen Cleobury, also well known as the Music Director of King's College Choir, Cambridge University.

Appropriate for a choir that belongs to a European broadcasting company whose important mission is to introduce contemporary music, the BBC Singers actively give performances of that musical genre. It has premiered many choral pieces such as Poulenc's Figure humaine, a familiar piece also in Japan. Its recording of Schoerg's complete works of choral music in collaboration with Pierre Boulez (CBS/ present SONY) is a landmark work that contributes to the future. On the other hand, presumably reflecting the musical environment of London where the performance of early music is actively conducted, it has long engaged in performing renaissance and baroque music together with ensembles composed of noted musicians. Its repertoire covers most of the history of choral music from 16th century to the contemporary period.

In Kyoto, it will hold a special concert on August 1 and appear in the closing gala concert. Great expectations are held for the sensitive renditions befitting a British choir.

Bach orchestra and choir of world-class
achievements in Japan
Masaaki Suzuki, internationally famous for his Bach performances and research, formed an orchestra and choir group of baroque music specialists in 1990.

To re-create the tone of the baroque period and to express the objective of music in religious pieces more vividly, the orchestra uses authentic instruments and adopts the performance style of the era. The choir, while under the direction and guidance of Suzuki, has engaged in a wide range of performing activities, acquiring the power and dramatic expression and making the most of the natural sounds and inflections of the German language.

In 2000, the year commemorating the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, the BCJ was invited to the Santiago Music Festival (Spain), Leipzig-Bach Music Festival (Germany), Melbourne Music Festival (Australia), etc., and performed as the highlight of the festivals, winning high acclaim. The same year, it performed St Matthew's Passion, St John's Passion and Mass B minor as the main artists of "Bach2000" hosted by the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Its performance of St Matthew's Passion that fell on the anniversary day of Bach's death was televised live throughout the world and generated headlines. It has released many CDs centered on Bach. In particular, its "Bach: Complete Works of Sacred Cantata" series (Sweden BIS label), whose recording started in1994 and continues today, is highly evaluated at home and abroad as "the big project of the century." The BCJ will take center stage at a concert on July 28, 2005 that falls on the 255th anniversary of Bach's demise.