Aichi Chamber Orchestra & Kazufumi Yamashita
Biography Aichi Chamber Orchestra & Kazufumi Yamashita
Originally from Hiroshima, Kazufumi Yamashita moved to Tokyo and attended the Toho Gakuen High School from the age of 16. There, he studied with Japan's best-known conductors including Tadaaki Otaka, Seiji Ozawa, and Kazuyoshi Akiyama.
At the age of 21, he won the Arts Encouragement Award in the 1984 Min-On Conducting Competition. Two years later he graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music and immediately went on to continue his studies in Europe at Berlin Arts University. His tremendous abilities impressed not only his instructors but the surrounding music community as well, including Herbert von Karajan, whose assistant he became until Karajan passed away in 1989.
Mr. Yamashita's talents continued to be recognized in concert and in competitions alike. He won first prize at Denmark's 1986 Malko Competition for Young Conductors, drawing unanimous acclaim from music critics all over the world. In September of that same year he stepped in for Karajan to conduct a most successful performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, making an instant name for himself in music circles across Europe. He was subsequently appointed Karajan's standby at the Salzburg Whitsun Music Festival from 1986.
Besides having held the position of the Associate Conductor of NHK Symphony Orchestra (1988-1995), Mr. Yamashita was also the Principal Guest Conductor with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (1992-1993), and between 1993-1998 took the post of Principal Guest Conductor with Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. Together with them he programmed a well-received series of the entire symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen, with concluding performances in the 1995-1996 season. In 1996, he took up the post of Regular Conductor with Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 1999.From 2006 he is the conductor of Sendai Philharmonic orchestra.
Mr. Yamashita continues to guest conduct various orchestras both in Japan and around the world, including the Osaka Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Malmo Symphony and the Auckland Philharmonia. His opera conducting engagements include productions such as Mozart Don Giovanni (2001 and again in 2004), Die Zauberfloete (2002), and Le Nozze di Figaro (2003) and Berg's Wozzeck (2004).
Aichi Chamber Orchestra
ACO was established in 2002 by the members consist of young players who graduated from Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Currently it consists of devoted players mainly succeed in Tokai region of Honshu. For the concerts presented by themselves, they have held regular concerts and family concerts for parents and children every year from 2005. Have got high reputation for their well-prepared plays with music which are planned and directed by themselves. Furthermore, a lot of their concerts with workshops have gained popularity. Other than those above, they have done various kinds of concerts such as for schools, chamber ones for small ensemble, collaboration with choirs, opera, musical, and a variety of events.
In 2015, Yuri Nitta was inaugurated as a principal conductor. With her knowledge and experience, they have adopted Nordic classical music pieces to their regular concerts and have been making effort to pursue denser ensemble and to explore the sound of Nordic classical music.
On January 1st 2017, their recording of “Symphony no.3” by Gade, which was performed at the 14th regular concert / the inaugural concert of Yuri Nitta in February 2017, was broadcast by the NHK radio program “your whole new world of classical music”.
Was awarded the Art Encouragement Prize by Nagoya City. Some of their recordings such as “Symphony no.3/no.4” by Niels Gade have been on music distribution service by Naxos Music Library.