Junichi Hirokami

Junichi Hirokami (広上 淳一, Hirokami Jun'ichi, born May 5, 1958) is a Japanese conductor.

Junichi Hirokami
Born (1958-05-05) May 5, 1958 (age 63)
Tokyo, Japan
InstrumentsPiano, viola
Years active1984-present
Associated actsNHK Symphony Orchestra (1985)
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (1991-1996)
Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (1998-2000)
Japan Philharmonic Orchestra (guest)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (guest)
Columbus Symphony Orchestra (2006-2008)
Kyoto Symphony Orchestra (2008-present)

Born in Tokyo, Hirokami studied conducting, piano, musicology, and viola at the Tokyo College of Music. He won the first Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in Amsterdam in September 1984 at age 26. One of the judges of that competition, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, then engaged Hirokami to conduct the NHK Symphony Orchestra on a tour of Japan with Ashkenazy in May 1985.

From 1991-1996, he was Chief Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. He served as Chief Conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2000. He has also been the Principal Guest Conductor of both the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hirokami became the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra on June 1, 2006, with an initial contract for 3 years.[1][2][3] During the orchestra's 2008 financial crisis, Hirokami strongly supported the musicians during a protracted contract dispute, which caused strained relations between Hirokami and the orchestra's board and management.[4] On November 13, 2008, in a letter to the orchestra's musicians, Hirokami announced that the board of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra had dismissed him from his post, effective immediately. Since April 2008, he has served as Chief Conductor of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, with an initial contract of 3 years.

Hirokami and his wife Yukari have a daughter, Kimiko.[4] In 1973, pop singer Junko Sakurada's music inspired then 15-year-old Hirokami so that he started a fan club dedicated to her.[5]


  1. ^ Barbara Zuck (2006-12-31). "Symphony sets sail after choosing Hirokami for helm". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2007-03-11.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Barbara Zuck (2007-01-21). "Hirokami to lead nine weekends". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2007-03-10.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Barbara Zuck (2006-11-05). "Opening performance proves a smashing success". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2007-03-10.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Jeffrey Sheban (2008-05-17). "Waiting for an encore". Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  5. ^ Ikeda, Takuo (August 30, 1993). "Youthful conductor finds roots in rock; Critics dislike 'outspoken' performances". The Nikkei Weekly. Japan. p. 20.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Franz Welser-Möst
Chief Conductor, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Ole Kristian Ruud
Preceded by
Shlomo Mintz
Chief Conductor, Limburg Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Ed Spanjaard
Preceded by
Gunther Herbig (music advisor)
Music Director, Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Jean-Marie Zeitouni
Preceded by
Naoto Otomo
Chief Conductor, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by