Yamagata Symphony Orchestra
Led by General Artistic Director IIMORI Norichika, Principal Conductor BAN Tetsuro, Principal Guest Conductor SUZUKI Hidemi and Radek Baborák, Founding Honorary Conductor MURAKAWA Chiaki, Honorary Conductor KUROIWA Hideomi, and Composer in Residence NISHIMURA Akira, the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra performs almost 150 times a year including regular subscription concerts, special concerts, request concerts, school concerts, and various other concerts, as well as television and radio performances. Performing with natural brass instruments for classical period works is one of YSO’s special characteristics.
The history of the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra dates back to 1971 when a preparatory orchestra was formed under the Conductor MURAKAWA Chiaki. It became the very first professional orchestra in northeastern Japan in January 1972. In August of the same year the Yamagata Symphony Association was formed as the managing organization for the orchestra, and subscription concert started in September. The orchestra’s activities were expanded to all six prefectures in northeastern Japan, and Niigata prefecture as well.
Since YSO held its first Tokyo performance at Suntory Hall in 1987, YSO has regularly performed in Tokyo – “Sakuranbo (Cherry) Concert” at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall every June since 2003, and also in Osaka since 2012 when its activities were expanded to the Kansai area.
In July 1991 YSO made its first overseas debut to participate in the Colorado Music Festival in Colorado, U.S.A.
The projects with maestro Iimori made “Iimori & YSO”’s name widely known to the whole country and lead to the release of the first Japanese orchestra’s original CD label “YSO live” in 2006 which has garnered high praise. YSO also had performed and recorded all of Mozart’s symphonies at the subscription concert series called “Voyage to Amadeus” for 8 and a half years from 2007 to 2015 and performed in the film “Okuribito (Departures)” which won an Academy Award in 2008.
In following years YSO received prestigious awards one after another including the Yamagata Prefecture Culture Meeting Award (1978), the Mokichi Saito Culture Award (1978), the Kahoku Culture Award (1979), the Suntory Regional Culture Award (2001), and the Regional Cultural Merits Award (2007).
YSO released the new CD “Mozart: The Complete Symphonies” in April 2017.
Official Website: http://www.yamakyo.or.jp/