JAPAN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Japan Philharmonic Orchestra's history began in Tokyo in June 1956. Akeo WATANABE played an important role in founding the orchestra and became its first Principal Conductor. With a wide repertoire and its unique performing style, JPO has soon become one of the leading orchestras in Japan. Igor MARKEVITCH, Charles MUNCH, Jean FOURNET and many other world-class conductors have conducted the Orchestra. JPO had a very successful USA-Canada tour in 1964, making a dramatic breakthrough in just ten years from its founding. JPO also made an appearance to the renowned Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2011 with Alexander LAZAREV, one of Russia’s great maestros who led JPO as Chief Conductor for 8 years from 2008 through 2016, making a significant first step to develop good relationships with Asian countries. In recent years, JPO has received a number of great reviews for its high quality performances.
From its founding, JPO started a commission series “Japan Phil Series” with wide variety of Japanese composers. Forty works have been premiered as of 2016, some of them now being regarded as regularly-performed repertoire, and the series has been highly rated as a commission system that is unprecedented in Japan’s music history. JPO is now aiming for further development while preserving its 60 years of history and tradition.
Ⅰ Orchestra Concerts
JPO performs 150 concerts a year, including subscription concerts in Tokyo, Yokohama, Saitama, and Sagamiono. With Chief Conductor Pietrai INKINEN, Conductor Laureate Alexander LAZAREV, Honorary Conductor Laureate Ken-ichiro KOBAYASHI, Permanent Conductor Kazuki YAMADA among other great conductors, JPO offers unique and attractive performances and aims for even higher performing skills.
Ⅱ Educational Programs
JPO has held a family concert series every summer since 1975, attracting over 20,000 children and their family members each year. The Orchestra has also been successful in other educational programs with Communication Director Michael SPENCER, including the hands-on workshops that nurture children's creativity, communication, and cooperation skills and has gained a lot of attention not only to expose music to school children but also as a training method for company employees.
Ⅲ Regional Activities
Over the years, JPO has focused on contributing to the local communities. In Kyushu region, JPO has a concert tour every year since 1975 in every prefecture. The tour plan and programs are created by thorough cooperation of the devoted local volunteer members each time. JPO also has a friendship agreement with Suginami Ward, Tokyo, since 1994, and holds "Suginami Kokaido Concert Series" and instrument classes for people over sixty years old. Since April 2011, members of the Orchestra have visited Tohoku region voluntarily to perform for the people in the disaster-stricken areas and teach instruments at schools in the region, making 273 visits as of August 2019.
(As of September 2019)
About Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
- Founded: June 22, 1956
- Foundeing Conductor: WATANABE Akeo
- Honorary Conductor Laureate: KOBAYASHI Ken-ichiro
- Honorary Conductor: LUKÁCS Ervin
- Honorary Conductor: James LOUGHRAN
- Chief Conductor: Pietari INKINEN
- Conductor Laureate: Alexander LAZAREV
- Permanent Conductor: YAMADA Kazuki
- Guest Chief Conductor: Neeme JÄRVI
- Solo Concertmaster: KINO Masayuki
- Solo Concertmaster: OGITANI Yasutomo
- Concertmaster: TANOKURA Masaaki
- Assistant Concertmaster: CHIBA Sayaka
- Communication Director: Michael SPENCER