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Takuo Yuasa (Conductor)

Born: 1949 - Osaka, Japan

The Japanese conductor, Takuo Yuasa, studied piano, cello, flute and clarinet in Ossaka.. At 18 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 Markevitch 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 Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

This personable and highly regarded Japanese conductor regularly performs throughout Europe and the Far East. In Japan he has held a long-term position of Principal Conductor with the Gumma Symphony Orchestra and in the UK he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland, Ireland, a position he held for eight years.

Takuo Yuasa 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 J. Brahms and Robert 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 Takuo Yuasa has conducted the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Brabants Orkest, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra and in the UK he has been a frequent visitor to the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. During recent seasons he 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.

In April 2010, Takuo Yuasa came back to the UK with the Osaka Symphony Choir, to perform George Frideric Handel's Judas Maccabbeus with the world famous Huddersfield Choral Society. This was performed in Huddersfield Town Hall on April 16, 2010. The visit from the choir is a mirror of the one the Choral Society did some years ago, when they went to Osaka to sing Benjamin Britten's War Requiem. The orchestra which played for the performance was the Manchester Camerata. He conducts the Orchestre National de France, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Nacional do Porto and Aarhus Symfoniorkester in the 2010-2011 season amongst other engagements.

Takuo Yuasas 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. He has made two appearances with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, with whom he toured in Summer of 2009 to play concerts in Katowice, Krakow in Poland, and Apeldoorn in The Netherlands. The programme included performances of Dvořák's Hussite Overture, Lutosławski's Cello Concerto, and Strauss' epic tone poem Ein Heldenleben.

Takuo Yuasa has a successful recording career with more than 50 CDs 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 Anton 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 Benjamin Britten, Macmillan and Rawsthorne, Anton Webern and Arnold Schoenberg, Arthur Honegger, Vieuxtemps, Edward MacDowell, Schubert, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Pärt, Górecki, Glass and Nyman with a newly emerging strand of Japanese composers who include Mayuzumi, Ohki, Bekku, Yashiro, Moroi, Akutagawa and Yamada. His complete concert cycles of the symphonies by Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann in Kobe, Japan, were recorded live for release there on CD and in October 2007. This versatility and breadth of repertoire are recognised by orchestras around the world which engage him to conduct standard core repertoire as well as less well-known pieces by major composers.

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.

" 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, February 4, 2005 MusicWeb)

Source: Patrick Garvey Management Website (July 2010; Photo 02: Akira Kinoshita)); Wikipedia Website (January 2011); Naxos Website;
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2011)

Recordings of Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bachs Works




Takuo Yuasa


A. Pärt: Collage sur B-A-C-H

Links to other Sites

Patrick Garvey Management: Artist List: Takuo Yuasa
Takuo Yuasa - Biography (Naxos)

Takuo Yuasa (Wikipedia)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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