Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

New conversations every other Wednesday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Feb 21, 2024

A conductor, harpsichordist, and organist, Masaaki Suzuki stands as a towering figure in Baroque music, renowned for his comprehensive and top-tier recordings of Bach's works, including all of Bach's sacred and secular cantatas. Suzuki's unparalleled dedication extends beyond Bach, with significant contributions to the works of Mozart, Handel, and other 18th-century composers. He is the founder of the Bach Collegium Japan, an artist in residence at Yale, and conducts orchestras and choruses around the world. 

Tyler sat down with Suzuki to discuss the innovation and novelty in Bach's St. John's Passion, whether Suzuki's Calvinist background influences his musical interpretation, his initial encounter with Bach through Karl Richter, whether older recordings of Bach have held up, why he trained in the Netherlands, what he looks for in young musicians, how Japanese players appreciate Bach differently, whether Christianity could have ever succeeded in Japan, why Bach's larger vocal works were neglected for so long, how often Bach heard his masterworks performed, why Suzuki's  favorite organ is in Groningen, what he thinks of Glenn Gould’s interpretations of Bach, what contemporary music he enjoys, what he'll do next, and more.

Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video

Recorded October 18th, 2023.

Other ways to connect