Tanaka Yoshikazu was born in Kyoto in 1958. Maestro Tanaka's musical
education included conducting studies under Kazuo Yamada and Akeo
Watanabe as well as piano studies under Toyoaki Matsuura. In 1979,
while yet a conducting major at the Tokyo National University of
Fine Arts and Music, Maestro Tanaka took first prize for conducting
at the 14th Tokyo International Music Competition. This single
achievement was such an astounding success that it virtually made
him an overnight sensation.
After graduating from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and
Music in 1980, he moved to Germany to continue his studies at the Berliner
Kirchen Musik Hochschule studying under the renowned conductor H.M. Rabenstein.
He remained in Berlin until 1986.
In 1982, Maestro Tanaka was awarded special honors at the Rupert Conducting
Competition sponsored by the BBC. In the same year, he made his debut
conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony, now known as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester
Berlin. In Japan, Maestro Tanaka has made numerous guest appearances
with almost all professional orchestras in this country, including the
NHK Symphony Orchestra. His conducting appearances generate a great deal
of public interest and high acclaim. Maestro Tanaka was the official
guest conductor for the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra from 1987 to 1989.
In 1990, he became Music Director and Conductor in Residence for the
Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra. In 1991, Maestro Tanaka led the HSO on
its first tour to Europe, where they gave their public performance at
the UN Peace Concert in Vienna and Prague. Maestro Tanaka's refreshingly
unique rendition won great admiration from the press and public alike.
In 1993, he led the HSO in their first public performance in Tokyo, followed
by performances in Osaka again receiving accolades for his memorable
concert performances. A recording of the live performance of the Berlioz
Symphonie Fantastique given by the HSO in Tokyo was released by Live
Notes Records on CD. In 1994, Maestro Tanaka was honored with the Hiroshima
Home Television Cultural Award for the contributions he had made to the
field of music in collaboration with the HSO.
Other noted contributions include conducting the KBS Symphony Orchestra,
Korea's top orchestra, at the 1993 Asian Contemporary Music Festival;
conducting a joint performance by the Sapporo Symphony and Sendai Philharmonic
Orchestras of Mahler's Symphony No. 6, "Tragische;" as well
as a number of large-scale projects such as Mahler's Symphony No. 8, "Symphonie
der Tausend," in 1998.
Maestro Tanaka has not only performed with such internationally renowned
classical artists as Gerhart Hetzel, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Ax, Midori
but he has also ventured into non-traditional musical genres giving joint
performances with Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Joe Jackson.
In 2005, the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, one of the orchestras representing
Taiwan, invited Maestro Tanaka to conduct their subscription concert.
The concert was a huge success, and his baton brought out the orchestra's
In 2007, Maestro Tanaka appeared with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra
in Shanghai and Nanjing. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, one of the
leading Chinese orchestras with long, proud history since 1879, has invited
him to conduct a program including Brucknerﾕs fifth symphony in 2009.
Aside from guest appearances with numerous orchestras, Maestro Tanaka
has also devoted himself to teaching the art of conducting at the Tokyo
National University of Fine Arts and Music.
Maestro Tanaka's musical interpretations are renowned for their individuality
and depth of expression. Every performance leaves an indelible impression
on the hearts of his audiences.
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