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Takuo YUASA CONDUCTOR

BIOGRAPHY


" ...... under Takuo Yuasa's direction these works sounded astonishingly fresh and newly minted. The London Philharmonic Orchestra responded warmly to his baton, playing with precision and panache throughout the evening.  Claude Debussy's La Mer is often mistreated as a flashy showcase for virtuoso orchestras but here Yuasa enticed the LPO to play with chamber-like intimacy and a delicate transparency ...... It is difficult to imagine a more atmospheric, dramatic and sensitively played La Mer ...... Takuo Yuasa proved a supreme Sibelian, conducting the composer's First Symphony with a total grasp of its structure and a strict adherence to the score whilst also securing the chilling mood of the authentic Sibelius sound ...... A packed house showed their appreciation for this glowing performance, and a self-effacing conductor was at great pains to ensure that his plaudits were shared by the orchestra."  

(Royal Festival Hall, London, 4th February 2005 - www.musicweb.uk.net)


During recent seasons Takuo Yuasa has conducted at London's Royal Festival Hall, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Frankfurt's Alte Oper, Stuttgart's Liederhalle and the Sibelius Hall in Lahti, Finland.  His complete concert cycles of the symphonies by Brahms and Schumann in Kobe, Japan, were recorded live for release there on CD and in October 2007 Takuo Yuasa received the prestigious Iue Cultural Award, created by Toshio Iue the founder of SANYO, for his exceptional contribution to music and for his international artistic achievement.  This personable and highly regarded Japanese conductor regularly performs throughout Europe and the Far East.  In Japan he has held the position of Principal Conductor with the Gumma Symphony Orchestra and in the United Kingdom he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland.  He has a successful recording career as an exclusive Naxos artist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and others. He attracts fine reviews ("... Yuasa's accounts [of Webern's orchestral pieces] have the spare, skeletal feel and expressive economy that makes them very rewarding indeed.  An outstanding achievement." Classics Today) in a wide range of repertoire which covers Britten, Macmillan and Rawsthorne, Webern and Schoenberg, Honegger, Vieuxtemps, Macdowell, Schubert, Rimsky-Korsakov, Part, Gorecki, Glass and Nyman with a newly emerging strand of Japanese composers who include Mayuzumi, Ohki, Bekku, Yashiro, Moroi, Akutagawa and Yamada.  This versatility is recognised by orchestras around the world who engage him to conduct standard core repertoire as well as less well-known pieces by major composers.


Takuo Yuasa conducts the Orchestre National de France, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto Casa da Musica and Aarhus Symfoniorkester in season '10/11 amongst other engagements. He conducts several major Japanese orchestras including the Japan Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic and New Japan Philharmonic orchestras with recent engagements there including a concert with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in its own subscription series and the complete symphonies by Brahms and Schumann with the Osaka Century Orchestra.  He is also Associate Professor, Performing Arts Centre, Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music where he is closely associated with the Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra and the university's wonderful new Sogaduko Concert Hall.   Outside Japan he has conducted the Oslo Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Brabants Orkest, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony and Queensland Orchestras and in the UK he has been a frequent visitor to the Halle Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra whilst his musicianship and infectious leadership attracts several European music conservatoires and the national youth orchestras of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire to engage him to conduct a new generation of performers.


Takuo Yuasa was born in Osaka where he studied piano, cello, flute and clarinet. At eighteen he left Japan to study in the USA at the University of Cincinnati where he completed a Bachelor Degree in Theory and Composition.  Recommended by Istvan Kertesz and Janos Starker, he moved to Europe to study conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Hochschule in Vienna (where was also a member of the ORF Choir), then with Igor Markevich in France and with Franco Ferrara in Siena before he became assistant to Lovro von Matacic, working with him in Monte Carlo, Milan and Vienna.  Since winning a Special Award at the Fitelberg International Conducting Competition in Katowice, Poland, Takuo Yuasa has frequently conducted the major orchestras there, including the Warsaw National Philharmonic and Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestras.