JAPANESE conductor Yoshikazu Fukumura is the new music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Fukumura, recognized as one of the most revered maestros in Japan, is the former music director of the Tokyo Ballet, Kyoto Municipal Symphony, and Nagoya Philharmonic.
He received a national recognition in Japan for conducting the NHK TV Concert Series entitled ‘Music of the World’ in 1970. He has also conducted the Japan Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Yomiuri Japan Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Gunma Symphony, Sapporo Symphony, Kyushu Symphony, and other well-acclaimed performances abroad in Europe, Latin America, and in Asia.
He has found a huge satisfaction in working with Asian orchestras—from making recordings to conducting festivals and subscription concerts in almost all parts of Asia. He was assigned as the first chief conductor of ASEAN Symphony Orchestra—consisting of 80 musicians carefully selected from some of the Southeast Asian countries, at the 17th Asean Summit in Hanoi on October 2010 as supported by the Nippon Foundation.
Fukumura has been the Honorary Principal Guest Conductor of the Cuba National Symphony Orchestra since 1995. He, under the support of the Japanese embassy in Cuba, again collaborated with the Cuba National Symphony Orchestra on September 2011 for the Great East Japan Earthquake mourning concert along with violin soloist Ryu Goto and oboist Keisuke Wakao.
Popular for conducting charity concerts, Yoshikazu Fukumura was appointed as the music director for the charity concert of the special orchestra in support to the Association of the Blind in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the same year. The concert was the pioneer symphonic concert in Cambodia after the civil war took place.
Fukumura appeared as guest conductor for PPO season concerts in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
“Yoshikazu Fukumura’s selection as the new music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra is an exciting development indeed and promises to add a dynamic and innovative chapter to the constant evolution of the PPO,” CCP President Raul Sunico said. “We look forward to the orchestra attaining greater musical heights under Maestro Fukumura, where his expertise, musical sensitivity and experience will be among his invaluable assets.”
Fukumura starts his term this May 2016 and will be conducting his first concert as PPO Music director in September when the PPO opens its 2016-2017 season.