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Takeharu Nobuhara (Conductor)
 

From Baroque Specialist to Interpreter of Central European works of the Classical and Romantic periods! And through the 'Beethoven cycle' with Osaka Philharmonic and Brahms with the Japan Philharmonic, now starting to move towards the same path taken by Harnoncourt and Gardiner!

     

Founded the 'Telemann Ensemble' in 1963, which was the predecessor of the Telemann Institute Japan.
Nobuhara has made remarkable achievements over the past 50 years, not only in the specialist field of researching and popularising Baroque music in Japan, but also through his broad vision and activities in bringing about a great contribution to the wide propagation of musical culture in Western Japan in particular. Since then, in recent years he is showing much promise from now as one of the great conductors who is proficient in music interpretation based on his many years of research into early music.

Despite taking on numerous opportunities for joint performances as a conductor with orchestras outside Japan including with the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bach-Orchester des Gewandhauses among others, Nobuhara has concentrated his activities always with the principal aim on the Telemann Institute Japan which he established.
From the late 1970s onwards his reputation extended beyond Western Japan to all of Japan, where his performances with the Telemann Chamber Orchestra and the Telemann Chamber Choir garnered high accolades, which included receiving awards by the Agency for Cultural Affairs for the Cultural Festival Excellent Performance Award as well as the Suntory Music Award. He has moreover received invitations from London, Paris, Bordeaux, as well as throughout Germany, which included an invitation to the International Music Festival in Commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the Birth of Johann Sebastian Bach held in Leipzig as the only Japanese group to be invited. He has also performed jointly with masters such as Maurice ANDR, Felix AYO, Maxence LARRIEU, Jean-Pierre RAMPAL, Hansjörg SCHELLENBERGER, Peter DAMM, Anner BYLSMA, Gary KARR, and has engaged in friendly exchanges with John Eliot GARDINER, Frans BRÜGGEN, Christopher HOGWOOD and Gerhard BOSSE amongst others.

Although Nobuhara's musical achievements are too numerous to mention completely here, a noteworthy one includes the first performance in Japan staged in a church cathedral of Telemann's 'Matthäus-Passion' and the 'Brockes-Passion' which was composed by Mattheson, Telemann, Händel and Keiser each vying with one another. Another noteworthy achievement by Nobuhara includes his taking on one version per year of Händel's 'Messiah' from the nine different versions. However, what was particularly unique was that in 1982 he conducted a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in accordance with the instrumental configuration as well as the tempo dictated by the composer at the premiere performance...as this was an extremely innovative approach at that time, a very interesting episode resulting therefrom was that early music performers such as Gardiner and Hogwood wished for a recording of the Symphony No. 9 as conducted by Nobuhara.
His approach with respect to Beethoven did not stop here and in 2006 he conducted a performance of the Symphony No. 9 with classical instruments (that is, instruments of the Classical period). Moreover, in 2008 he performed the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies, the Chorfantasie and the Missa Solemnis on classical instruments, which led to Nobuhara being awarded the Federal Cross of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany (Das Verdienstkreuz am Bande).

Although it goes without saying that the Telemann Institute Japan was always at the core of Nobuhara's activities, he has also made the time to accept invitations from orchestras outside Japan, from the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa when Hiroyuki Iwaki was the musical director, as well as from the Kyushu symphony orchestra, as a specialist of the Baroque to the Classical repertory.

He once again guest conducted the Osaka Philharmonic in 2009 after a hiatus, and from 2010 to 2012 the Osaka Philharmonic and Nobuhara together hosted a performance of the Beethoven complete symphony series, leading him to become an even bigger sensation by having gained accolades such as 'a masterful performance with no exaggeration to say that [Nobuhara] has ushered in the next generation of the Osaka Philharmonic' and 'the Pastorale was so powerful it could have resonated to the force of life with a full sound' (as reviewed by the late Tadao KOISHI in the 30th September evening edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun).

During this time Nobuhara also guest conducted a subscription concert by the Japan Philharmonic in Yokohama of the Brahms' Symphony No. 1 (with the original version of the 2nd movement), which was released on CD on the EXTON label. In 2011, Nobuhara spearheaded the formation of the 'Orchestra Japan 2011', gathering many players for a 'Orchestra for only one day' to perform Mahler's Symphony No. 4, which was released on the Live Notes label and chosen as a Specially Selected Disc of the Record Geijutsu magazine, which resulted in the re-formation of this orchestra in 2012 to perform in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, naturally taking on the Romantic repertory.

The move towards the early music specialists such as Harnoncourt and Gardiner being invited by the modern orchestras of Europe as conductor are now also being directed towards Nobuhara Takeharu as well.

November 2013

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