NHK Symphony Orchestra, TokyoMore Info
The NHK Symphony Orchestra is one of Japan's most significant symphony orchestras
and has played a fundamental role in Japan's classical music history. Originally founded as
the New Symphony Orchestra, it became the country's first professional orchestra in 1926.
Upon receiving sponsorship from the Japanese public broadcasting organization, Nippon Hoso
Kyokai (NHK), in 1951, it took its current name. During this period, Joseph Rosenstock
began his post as principal guest conductor, and was particularly influential in
establishing the NHK Symphony Orchestra's reputation as Japan's leading orchestral
ensemble. The first subscription concert was held in 1927 to critical acclaim; due to its
success, the concert series was even able to continue throughout World War II. Since then,
the NHK Symphony Orchestra has hosted some the world's most eminent conductors, including
Herbert von Karajan, Ernest Ansermet, Joseph Keilberth, and Lovro von Matačić, as well as
numerous popular soloists of the time.
Today, the NHK Symphony Orchestra annually presents approximately 120 concerts nationally,
including 54 subscription concerts performed at NHK Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. In
1960, the orchestra began touring overseas. Winning widespread acclaim, concert recordings
were later produced by major record labels and sold around the world. More recently, the
orchestra debuted its Music Tomorrow series, featuring repertoire written in
collaboration with today's celebrated composers. Concerts are aired throughout Japan on the
NHK Television Network and FM Radio, as well as in Europe, the US, and Asia.
In 2003, the orchestra established the NHK Symphony Orchestra Academy, designed to foster
musical talent. The orchestra regularly hosts a variety of musical events at elementary and
junior high schools throughout Japan in an effort to share the joy of music with the next
generation of budding musicians. Moreover, the NHK Symphony Orchestra is actively involved
in serving the community by bringing music to hospitals, senior citizen centers, and other
institutions. Through programs like these, the NHK Symphony Orchestra aims to not only help
advance Japanese classical music as a whole, but to also bring the gift of music to the
Conductor, composer, and pianist André Previn has received a number of awards and honors
for his outstanding musical accomplishments, including both the Austrian and German Cross
of Merit, and the Glenn Gould Prize. He has earned lifetime achievement awards from the
Kennedy Center, London Symphony Orchestra, and Gramophone; in 2010 was one of the
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
A regular guest with the world's major orchestras, both in concert and on recordings, Mr.
Previn frequently works with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and
Vienna Philharmonic. In addition, he has held chief artistic posts with such orchestras as
the Houston Symphony, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, and
Royal Philharmonic orchestras. In 2009, Mr. Previn was appointed Principal Guest Conductor
of the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
As a pianist, Mr. Previn enjoys recording and performing song recitals, chamber music, and
jazz. He has given recitals with Renée Fleming at Lincoln Center and with Barbara Bonney at
the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He regularly gives chamber music concerts with violinist
Anne-Sophie Mutter and cellist Lynn Harrell, as well as with members of the Boston Symphony
and London Symphony orchestras, and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Mr. Previn has enjoyed a number of successes as a composer. His first opera, A
Streetcar Named Desire, was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque. Recent highlights
include the premiere of his Double Concerto for Ms. Mutter and bassist Roman Patkoló,
premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007. His Harp Concerto, commissioned by the
Pittsburgh Symphony, was premiered in 2008; Owls was premiered by the Boston
Symphony Orchestra in 2008; his second opera, Brief Encounter, commissioned by the
Houston Grand Opera, premiered in 2009; and his Double Concerto for Violin and Viola,
received its premiere in 2009.
In 2011, Mr. Previn returns to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican and
tour North American cities with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. His opera Brief
Encounter will be released by Deutsche Grammophon this spring.
André Previn records for Deutsche Grammophon. His music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc.
and Chester Music Ltd.