Orchestra Profile

Founded in 1989 as an orchestra for Osaka Prefecture, it was named the Osaka Century Symphony Orchestra based on public suggestions from the residents. With its base in Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture, it became an independent public interest incorporated foundation as the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and will celebrate its 35th anniversary in December 2024. Currently, Norichika Iimori serves as the principal conductor, Kazuyoshi Akiyama as the music advisor, and Joe Hisaishi as the principal guest conductor (scheduled to become the music director in April 2025). In addition to the Symphony Subscription Concerts held at The Symphony Hall and the “Haydn Marathon” project, which involves performing and recording all of Haydn’s symphonies, the orchestra regularly performs the “Toyonaka Masterpiece Series” at the Toyonaka City Cultural Arts Center, where it continues to engage as a partner orchestra, and holds regular concerts at two locations within Osaka Prefecture.

Conductors

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Norichika Iimori

Principal Conductor

Norichika Iimori graduated from the conducting course of the Toho Gakuen School of Music. After studying in Berlin and Munich, beginning in 1994 he held successive posts including Resident Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Guest Conductor of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, and Resident Conductor of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra. Iimori has been invited to conduct many world-class orchestras including the Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, and Prague Symphony Orchestra. In 2001 he became General Music Director of the Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he recorded the complete Beethoven Symphonies.

Iimori has also been acclaimed for his work in the field of opera. In 2024 he is conducting two operas: Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, and the Fujiwara Opera production of Donizetti’s “Pia de’ Tolomei.”

Currently, Norichika Iimori is Principal Conductor of the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Pacific Philharmonia Tokyo, Chief Conductor of the Gunma Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Laureate of the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, Permanent Conductor of the Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka, Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Chubu Philharmonic Orchestra. Official Website http://iimori-norichika.com/

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Joe Hisaishi

Principal Guest Conductor

Joe Hisaishi started to show his interest in minimal music while he was studying at Kunitachi College of Music and began his career as a contemporary music composer. The first CD “A Symphonic Celebration” released from Deutsche Grammophon (June 2023) hit the first prize on US Billboard Classical Albums & Classical Crossover Albums Chart twice.

In 2004, he took on the position of Principal Music Director of the New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra. Since 2014, he has been working as a producer and conductor of contemporary music concerts called “MUSIC FUTURE” and a concert series titled “Future Orchestra Classics” since 2019. In recent years, he has conducted classical music and composed contemporary works such as “Metaphysica (Symphony No. 3)” (2021) and “Viola Saga for Orchestra” (2023).

Hisaishi is Music Partner with New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor with Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, and the Composer-in-Association of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from April 2024. He is the Music Director designated with Japan Century Symphony Orchestra starting from April 2025.

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Kazuyoshi Akiyama

Music Adviser

Born in 1941, He studied conducting under Hideo Saito at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. He made his debut conducting the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and served as Music Director and Permanent Conductor for 40 years. During this time, he also served as Music Director of the American, the Vancouver and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. He has also made guest appearances with the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and others.

He is the recipient of numerous highly prestigious honors, including the Suntory Music Award, the Arts Encouragement Prize of the Minister of Education and others. He was also awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon and the Order of the Rising Sun and was selected as a Person of Cultural Merit. He currently holds the title of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Chubu Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Advisor to the Japan Century Orchestra and the Okayama Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Laureate of the Tokyo and Kyushu Symphony Orchestras and Honorary Conductor for Life of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, as well as Artistic Director and Special Professor at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music and Visiting Professor of Kyoto City University of Arts.

Players

Concert Master

Tatsunobu GOTO
Nana MATSUURA

Principal Guest Concert Master

Eiji ARAI

Guest Concert Master

Yuna SHINOHARA

1st Violin

Tomomi IWASAKI
Mika OZAKI
Fumitaka SATO
Harumi SEKI
Chika HIROTSU
Noriko MICHIHASHI

2nd Violin

Emi IKEHARA
Munehisa TAKAHASHI
Tomoko SHITAYA
Masami NAKATANI
Hibiki NAKAYA
Jun-ichi HIBI


Viola

Sachiko SUDA
Yuki MASUNAGA
Takashi IIDA
Kanaho KIDA
Yuko NAGAMATSU

Cello

Daisuke KITAGUCHI
Mari SUENAGA
Hiroaki TAKAHASHI
Toshiko MOCHIZUKI
Dangaku WATANABE

Contrabass

Kazuyuki MURATA
Ken-ichi NAITO
Kanako TANZAWA

Flute

Mayuko NAGAE
Yoriko FUSHIDA

Oboe

Yoshie MIYAMOTO
Daichi KAWAHITO

Clarinet

Shuichiro MOCHIMARU
Kanae YOSHIOKA

Bassoon

Yuhi YASUI

Horn

Takeshi HIDAKA
Keishi KAMADA

Trumpet

Toshiyuki KOMAGARI
Motoaki SATO

Trombone

Takeshi MIKUBO

Bass Trombone

Nozomi KASANO

Timpani

Tomoaki YASUNAGA

Percussion

Yuji HIROKAWA

Contract Player

Risako IWAI(Horn)
Kazuyo OGAWA(Violin)
Shuhei MITSUI(Contrabass)
Saho YAMAMOTO(Viola)