The lead singer of the Checkers for many years,
Fumiya Fujii later struck out on his own for a solo career,
with just as much popular success as his former band.
Born in Kurume City, Fukuoka on July 11, 1962, he formed the Checkers
with vocalists Yoshihiko Takamoku and Masaharu Tsuruku, sax player Naoyuki Fujii,
guitarist Tohru Takeuchi, bassist Yuji Ohdoi and drummer Yoshiya Tokunaga.
Fujii was the frontman for the band over the course of 13 albums during the 1980s and '90s,
but began his solo career in 1994.
Three additional albums have followed for the Pony Canyon label (R&R, Tears, Standard).
Official site http://www.fumiyafujii.net/
Naoto Otomo(music director & conductor)
Born in 1950, Naoto Otomo graduated from the Toho Gakuen School of Music
having studied conducting under Seiji Ozawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Tadaaki Odaka and Morihiro Okabe.
His studies took him to Tanglewood where he worked with conductors such as André Previn,
Leonard Bernstein and Igor Markevitch. While still a student at Toho Gakuen,
Naoto Otomo was named Assistant Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra,
and upon the recommendation of its members, made his debut with the orchestra at the age of 22.
During his career, Naoto Otomo has regularly made appearances with major orchestras
both in Japan and overseas. He is currently Music Director of the Gunma Symphony Orchestra,
Honorary Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra,
Conductor Laureate of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra,
and Music Advisor to the Ryukyu Symphony Orchestra. In 2004,
He was appointed as the first Music Director of the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan concert hall,
a post he held for 8 years.
Outside Japan, Naoto Otomo has appeared with the Colorado Symphony,
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra;
in July 2001 he led the Philharmonia Orchestra on their tour to Japan,
in March 2012 he conducted the opening concert of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra,
and in June 2012 he appeared as a guest conductor with the Lorraine National Orchestra.
His conducting has won him great acclaim,
and there is much anticipation of future work in both Europe and the United States.
Naoto Otomo is the recipient of the 8th Akio Watanabe Music Foundation Award (2000)
and the 7th Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award (2008).
Creating new music scenes in which classical and music from other genres collaborate,
Otomo does not shy away from stage productions that stray from established genres
and forms of expression; he is truly an innovative music producer.
The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
Japan Philharmonic Orchestra's 54 year-history began in Tokyo in 1956.
Akeo WATANABE played an important role in founding the orchestra and
became its first principal conductor.Soon with the wide repertoire and its unique performing style,
JPO has become one of the leading orchestras in Japan.
JPO has started its brand-new era during its
2008-09 season, collaborating with the chief conductor from Russia, Maestro
Alexander LAZAREV, and the principal guest conductor from Finland,
young prominent maestro Pietari INKINEN.
JPO has held the mission“ We send out the culture through music”, which is
supported by three major pillars: “Orchestra Concerts” “Educational
Programs” and“ Regional Activities”. JPO has been very successful in its
education programs. The orchestra has held family concerts in every summer
since 1975, and has done many performances for school students, outreach
programs and various workshops. JPO also has focused on the activities with
local communities, having concerts and other programs all around in Japan,
and now heading to the other Asian countries, just had some good workshops
with local secondary school students in Hong Kong in March 2011. The
members of JPO has visited Tohoku region voluntarily to perform for the
people in the earthquake/tsunami striken area since the disaster occurred,
and this program“ Music for Tohoku” will be kept on going for a while.
Official site http://www.japanphil.or.jp
The Japan Century Symphony Orchestra
The Japan Century Symphony Orchestra was established in December 1989
as the name of Century Orchestra Osaka.
The 55-member orchestra, twin wind-10 section formation,
is highly skilled at playing from classical music to modern pieces.
Uriel Segal was appointed chief conductor from 1989 to 1997,
Ken Takaseki from 1997 to 2003, Kazuhiro Koizumi as principal conductor from 2003 to 2008.
The orchestra invited Kazuhiro Koizumi as the first music director,
Ryusuke Numajiri as principal guest conductor from April 2008
and celebrated its 20th anniversary under the conductors in 2009.
In April 2011 the orchestra took the current name and made its new start.
The orchestra announced the appointments of Norichika Iimori as chief conductor,
Alan Buribayev as principal guest conductor from 2014: its 25th anniversary.
Besides holding subscription and special concerts,
the orchestra actively promotes music appreciation classes
aimed at refining the sensibilities of the younger generation, who will be tomorrow's leaders.
Our aim is to provide not only classical music but music that stirs the soul
of every person so that the general public will come to know the joy of listening to great music
and attending wonderful concerts.
We hope to provide more opportunity for all to come into close contact with music in their daily lives.
We are dedicated to fulfilling our mission to become an orchestra
that is loved and respected by not only classical music lovers but also all the people in every walk of life.
Official site http://www/century-orchestra.jp