Naomi Munakata (宗像 直美, Munakata Naomi, 31 May 1955 – 26 March 2020) was a Japanese-born Brazilian choral conductor and academic teacher based in the city of São Paulo. She was conductor of OSESP, the choir of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, from 1995 to 2013, and then principal conductor of Coral Paulistano Mário de Andrade at the Municipal Theatre. She was among the choral conductors in South America who "have contributed to the strengthening and stimulation of choral music", according to The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music.
|Born||31 May 1955|
|Died||26 March 2020 (aged 64)|
São Paulo, Brazil
Munakata was born in Hiroshima, and the family moved to São Paulo, Brazil, when she was age two. She received piano lessons from age four and began singing in a choir that her father conducted at age seven. She also learned to play violin and harp. She studied at the Instituto Musical de São Paulo, graduating in composition and conducting in 1978. She studied conducting, musical analysis and counterpoint with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter. She also studied with Eleazar de Carvalho, Hugh Ross, Sérgio Magnani and John Neschling. She further studied with Eric Ericson in Sweden on a scholarship from Vitae Foundation, and was awarded a scholarship for studies of conducting at the University of Tokyo from the Japanese government in 1986. She received the award for best choral conductor from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics.
Munakata was teacher and director of the Escola Municipal de Música de São Paulo, and conductor and artistic director of the Coral Jovem do Estado, the state youth choir. She ran a regular radio program, "Vozes" (Voices) on Rádio Cultura FM in São Paulo, informing about choral music.
She was conductor of OSESP, the choir of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, from 1995 to 2013, when she became the choir's Honorary Conductor. From 2014, she was artistic director of the Coral Paulistano Mário de Andrade, the chorus of the Theatro Municipal. She taught at the faculties Faculdade Santa Marcelina and Faculdade de Artes Alcântara Machado (FAAM).
She received the award for best choral conductor from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics.
- Takahashi, Jo (5 April 2011). "S.O.S JAPÃO". JOJOSCOPE (in Portuguese and Japanese). Retrieved 29 March 2020.
- "￭ Fuhō ￭ Munakata Naomi-san korona de byōshi – San Pauro shūritsu kōkyō gakudan gasshō-dan no shikisha" ■訃報■宗像直美さんコロナで病死＝サンパウロ州立交響楽団合唱団の指揮者 [(Obituary) Naomi Munakata died from coronavirus disease – Conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra Choir]. Nikkey Shimbun ニッケイ新聞 [Nikkei Newspaper] (in Japanese). 27 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
- Quadros, André de, ed. (2012). The past fifty years: 1960–2010). The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music. Cambridge University Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-52-111173-7.
- "Maestrina Naomi Munakata morre por complicações de coronavírus / Munakata tinha 64 anos e era titular do Theatro Municipal de SPCoral Paulistano". agenciabrasil.ebc.com (in Portuguese). 26 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "Naomi Munakata, uma das principais regentes do Brasil, morre vítima de coronavírus". Folha de São Paulo (in Portuguese). 26 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- Bartaburu, Xavier (5 March 2008). "Meu pai viu "Deus no fundo do mar"" (in Portuguese). www.japao100.com.br. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- "Naomi Munakata". Osesp (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- Lago, Flavio; Bilyk, Paolo (26 March 2020). "Naomi Munakata, rosa de Hiroshima e gigante do coral". agenciabrasil.ebc.com (in Portuguese). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "Coral Paulistano / A modernist inspiration to charm Brazil with music". Theatro Municipal de São Paulo. Retrieved 27 March 2020.