Japanese Maestro Tadaaki Otaka is Permanent Conductor of Tokyo’s NHK Symphony and Conductor Laureate of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, to which he was appointed in 1996. In April 2015 he was appointed Honorary Music Director of Sapporo Symphony after a distinguished career as their Music Director. He is Honorary Conductor Laureate of the Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo, which he founded in 1995 and swiftly established as one of Japan’s best chamber ensembles. He served as Principal Guest Conductor of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2012 and as Artistic Director of the New National Theatre, Tokyo from 2010-2014.
Plans for the 2016-17 season includes return visits to Orchestre National d'Ile de France, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Brussels Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent highlights include return visits to BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Sapporo Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic and NHK Symphony. In early 2015 he conducted a special programme at the Juilliard School of Music, New York in celebration of the compositions of Takemitsu, of whom he is an acclaimed interpreter.
Highlights of recent seasons include Belshazzar’s Feast with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Duruflé’s Requiem and Britten's War Requiem with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, special concerts in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; Sapporo Symphony's critically-acclaimed European tour in 2011 and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast at the 2012 BBC Proms with BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. He led the NHK Symphony tour to China, to commemorate 40 years of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two nations. In Spring 2015 he sat on the jury of the prestigious Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen. He continues to work extensively in his native Japan with the country’s leading orchestras and is highly regarded as a teacher of young conductors.
Tadaaki Otaka is a recipient of the prestigious Suntory Music Award, given each year to the most impressive individual Japanese musician or ensemble. One of Japan’s leading conductors, he has premiered works by such distinguished composers as Teizo Matsumura, Toru Takemitsu and Akira Miyoshi. In 1993 the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama conferred an Honorary Fellowship on him and he also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wales. In 1997, he was awarded the CBE, in recognition of his outstanding contribution over many years to British musical life. In 2000 he was awarded the Elgar Medal by the Elgar Society to mark a compelling record of conducting the composer’s works overseas.