Kazushi ONO, Conductor
Atsuko KOBAYASHI, Soprano
Hiroka YAMASHITA, Alto
Kei FUKUI, Tenor
Hidekazu TSUMAYA, Bass
Mari OHKI, Organ
New National Theatre Chorus, Chorus
Kazushi ONO (Music Director)
Ono trained in Europe under Wolfgang Sawallisch and came to public attention winning first prize in the 1987 Toscanini Competition. Since his first appointment at Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992 he has held continuous positions, including at Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Karlsruhe Opera, La Monnaie, Opéra National de Lyon, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and currently, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, New National Theatre Tokyo and Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.
A favourite of orchestral players, he has lasting friendships with orchestras around the world and regularly guest conducts groups such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
His passion and curiosity for repertoire takes him in different directions – to the standard classics but also to new music. He often commissions works and has collaborated several times with Mark-Anthony Turnage, including on Silent Cities, Hibiki (which won a Royal Philharmonic Society award) and Time Flies, which was originally commissioned for the 2020 Tokyo Olympiad. Recent commissions at NNTT include Asters by Akira Nishimura and Dai Fujikura’s A Dream of Armageddon. His programming there also includes Baroque, 20th-century and bel canto masterpieces.
In Europe he conducted the world premieres of Toshio Hosokawa’s Hanjyo in Aix-en-Provence, Arnulf Hermann’s Der Mieter at Oper Frankfurt and Kaija Saariaho’s Emilie at Opéra de Lyon, as well as new productions of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and L’Enfant et les sortilèges at Glyndebourne and Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher at Opéra de Lyon. He has worked closely with boundary-breaking directors such as Dmitri Tcherniakov, Romeo Castellucci, Pierre Audi, William Kentridge and Mariusz Treliński
Ono is a vocal advocate for the role of culture in all our lives. During his time in Lyon he took part in a programme bringing opera to prisons and at TMSO he leads the inclusive SaLaD Music Festival, as well as working with community organisations for people with disabilities. In his new role in Brussels he will be part of an integration scheme for refugees. During the initial stages of the pandemic, he led ground-breaking research into the transmission of particles and the use of ventilation that meant that orchestras could get back to playing for audiences safely.
In 2017 he was awarded ‘Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by French cultural minister Françoise Nyssen, adding to the prestigious Asahi Prize in January 2015, for his contribution to the development and progress of Japanese society.
Atsuko KOBAYASHI (Soprano)
Since her debut at The Fujiwara Opera in 2000 as Giannetta from “L’elisir d’amore”, she has made her title role debut in “Madama Butterfly”. She has received high praise for Anita in “La Navarraise” in 2018. She has played the title roles in “Madama Butterfly” and “Tosca” at Opera Appreciation Class for high school students held in the New National Theatre. She has played Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth”, Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni”, the title role in “Aida”. Also, she has sung for many concerts, such as Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 & “Missa Solemnis”, Verdi’s “Messa da Requiem”, Mahler’s Symphony No.2 “Resurrection”.
It is fresh in our memory that she substituted the title role in the New National Theatre Opera “Tosca” in 2018 and received high praise. Member of The Fujiwara Opera.
Hiroka YAMASHITA (Mezzo-Soprano)
Kei FUKUI (Tenor)
Since making his spectacular debut in Nikikai Opera’s La boheme, he has become the
leading tenor in Japan and is renowned for the brilliance of his tone and outstanding
expressivity. In recent years, he has been praised for the title roles in Otello, Don Carlo,
Parsifal and Lohengrin and in 2016 he was highly acclaimed for his Tristan in Nikikai’s
first-ever production of Tristan und Isolde.
In 2015, Fukui was invited to take part in Maestro Seiji Ozawa’s 80th Birthday Concert
at the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival as the only male Japanese artist among an
international star-studded lineup. In 2016, he performed with Zubin Mehta and the
Vienna Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
He has also released several CDs including two new albums in 2017, ROKKYU and
Amarilli, mia bella.
Awards include the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, Idemitsu Music Award
and ExxonMobil Music Award. He is Professor at Kunitachi College of Music and Tokyo University of the Arts. He is a member of the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation.
Hidekazu TSUMAYA (Bass)
Mari OHKI (Organ)
Arts. She studied at Musikhochschule Lübeck and Hochschule für Musik Detmold. She won
the 1st Prize at Internationaler Buxtehude Orgelwettbewerb, the 2nd Prize at Internationaler
Mainzer Orgelwettbewerb, and 3rd Prize at Prague Spring International Music Competition.
She has appeared as a concert organist in numerous cities in both Japan and Europe. She is a
hall organist of Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall.