Conductor, Violin Section
Born in Tokyo, Junichi Hirokami studied conducting, piano, musicology and viola at the prestigious Tokyo College of Music. He began his conducting career at the age of 26 after winning the first Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in Amsterdam.
Since 1990, Junichi Hirokami has appeared as guest conductor with major orchestras throughout the world including the Orchestre National de France, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, LA Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Wiener Symphoniker. Between 1988 and 1995, Hirokami was Chief Conductor of Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Since then he served as Chief Conductor of Limburg Symphony Orchestra (1998–2000), Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (1997–2000), Principal Conductor of Japan Philharmonic (1991-2000), and Music Director of Columbus Symphony Orchestra (2006-2008).
In recent years, he has been a guest conductor of orchestras which include Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In Japan he has conducted all the major orchestras including NHK Symphony Orchestra and Saito Kinen Orchestra. He also receives great acclaim for his appearances with Mito Chamber Orchestra.
He is prolific in opera as well, having led celebrated performances of “Un ballo in maschera” and “Rigoletto” at the the Sydney Opera House, and his most recent triumphs include “La Traviata” at the Fujiwara Opera, “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Ainadamar” at the Nissay Theatre, and “La Traviata” and “Aida” at the New National Theatre.
Hirokami is currently Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. He made the orchestra grown up greatly and as the one of the results he received 46th Suntory Music Award with Kyoto Symphony Orchestra in 2015. In 2017 Sapporo Symphony Orchestra appointed him as Friendship Guest Conductor. Hirokami also devotes his time and energy to the education as the professor at Tokyo College of Music.