Junichi Hirokami

Born in Tokyo. Studied in the Conducting Department at the Tokyo College of Music. Won the first Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in Amsterdam in September 1984 at age 26.

Following upon this success, he went on to conduct the National French Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Between 1991 and 1995 he led the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1994 he brought the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra to Japan. From 1991 to 2000, he was Chief Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, during which time the group toured Europe in 1996, as well as delivering many fresh and magnificent performances of pieces such as Richard Strauss' Ein Heldenblen and the symphonies of Haydn.

In recent years, he has been a guest conductor of orchestras which include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, L'Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, and the Sao Paulo State Symphony. He was Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2008, bringing fantastic soloists like Yo-Yo Ma and Midori to perform.

In 2007 he was invited to Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto where he conducted Haydn and Rachmaninoff. He also received great acclaim for his appearance with the Mito Chamber Orchestra, where he replaced Seiji Ozawa at the last minute and led the group in a program centered on Mozart and Beethoven. 

He is prolific in opera as well, having led celebrated performances in 1989 and 1990 of Un ballo in maschera and Rigoletto at the the Sydney Opera House, and his most recent triumphs include La traviata at the Fujiwara Opera, and Orfeo ed Euridice at the Nissay Theatre. In February 2011, he made his debut at the New National Theatre conducting La traviata.

Since April 2008, he has served as Chief Conductor of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra.                              

March 2015Not to be altered without permission. Please contact us if this biography is out of date or if you need a reduced version.