Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra (日本フィルハーモニー交響楽団, Nihon Firuhāmonī Kōkyō Gakudan) is a Japanese symphony orchestra based in Tokyo, with administrative offices in Suginami. [1] It was established on June 22, 1956, as the exclusive subsidiary orchestra under the Nippon Cultural Broadcasting. Akeo Watanabe served the first chief conductor of the orchestra, from 1950 to 1968, with the titles of music director, permanent conductor, and executive director.[2] Watanabe recorded the symphonies of Jean Sibelius with the orchestra twice, first in the 1960s for Nippon Columbia Company, and second for Denon, in 1981.[3] In 1958, the orchestra gave the first Japanese performance of Debussy's Pelleas and Melisande, conducted by Jean Fournet.[4]

Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
Native name日本フィルハーモニー交響楽団
Founded1956 (1956)
LocationSuginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Concert hallVarious (See music venues)
Suginami Public Hall, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan (2008)

In 1959, the orchestra made a subsidiary contract with Fuji Television.[5] Between 1961 and 1989, the orchestra performed regular concerts in the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan hall.[6] Its first overseas tour took place in 1964 in Canada and America.[7]

In March 1972, the contracts with Nippon Cultural Broadcasting and Fuji Television subsidiary ended, and the orchestra foundation was dissolved.[8] Seiji Ozawa was the principal conductor and the music adviser at the time. One-third of those original members left to form the New Japan Philharmonic in 1972, led by Ozawa, with Naozumi Yamamoto as conductor and secretary-general. The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra Association was subsequently founded in 1973, newly formed as a self-organized orchestra. Václav Smetáček was appointed as a guest conductor. The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra Association chorus was formed end of the year. The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra Association once again became a foundation in 1985.[9]

The orchestra formed a regular relationship with Suginami City in July 1994. The orchestra also established a residency in Yokohama at the Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall in 1998. The Suginami Public Hall was re-opened, after remodeling, in June 2006, which the orchestra uses for rehearsals and other events. The orchestra reorganised its financial basis in 2013, transitioning to a publicly held foundation basis.

Alexander Lazarev was principal conductor of the orchestra from 2008 to 2016, and now has the title of conductor laureate with the orchestra. Pietari Inkinen was principal guest conductor from 2009 to 2016. In April 2015, the orchestra announced the appointment of Inkinen as its new chief conductor, effective in 2016, with an initial contract of 3 years.[10] Other conductors with whom the orchestra has a regular working relationship include Neeme Järvi, who has served as principal guest conductor of the orchestra, and James Loughran, who was appointed as honorary conductor in November 2006.

In 2016, Pietari Inkinen was appointed chief conductor.[11]

Conductors (partial list)Edit

  • Akeo Watanabe (1950–1968; music director)
  • Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi (1988–1990, principal conductor; 1990–1994, 1997–2004, chief conductor; 2004-2007, music director; 2010-present, honorary conductor laureate)
  • Junichi Hirokami (1991–2000, resident conductor)
  • Ryusuke Numajiri (2003–2008, resident conductor)
  • Alexander Lazarev (2008–2016, principal conductor; 2016–present, conductor laureate)
  • Pietari Inkinen (2016–present, chief conductor).

Music venuesEdit

Tokyo venuesEdit

Yokohama venueEdit

  • Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall

Saitama venueEdit

  • Omiya Sonic City


  1. ^ "Japan Philharmonic Orchestra - Pietari Inkinen". www.pietariinkinen.com. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  2. ^ "Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra". Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  3. ^ "Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra - Concerts, Biography & News - BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  4. ^ "Jean Fournet". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  5. ^ Brown, Emily Freeman (2015-08-20). A Dictionary for the Modern Conductor. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8401-4.
  6. ^ "Classical Concerts with Emerging Artists 2019-2020 | Tokyo Bunka Kaikan". www.t-bunka.jp. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  7. ^ Wade, Bonnie C. (2014-01-13). Composing Japanese Musical Modernity. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-08549-4.
  8. ^ Brown, Emily Freeman (2015-08-20). A Dictionary for the Modern Conductor. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8401-4.
  9. ^ "新日本フィルを知る | [公式]新日本フィルハーモニー交響楽団 | [公式]新日本フィルハーモニー交響楽団". [公式]新日本フィルハーモニー交響楽団—New Japan Philharmonic—. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  10. ^ Mari Koppinen (2015-04-20). "Suomalaiskapellimestari Pietari Inkinen nousee Japanin filharmonikkojen johtoon". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  11. ^ "Pietari Inkinen | FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra". www.fok.cz. Retrieved 2020-06-21.

External linksEdit