Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus


Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus, founded in 1956, is Japan’s foremost independent professional choir. Its members are all graduates from Japanese or European music conservatories and represent the highest level of choral music in Japan.

The chorus holds about 200 concerts annually in Japan, performs with Japanese and visiting orchestras and is frequently engaged in recordings for radio and television. Besides these activities, Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus emphasizes the musical education of children, performs regularly at schools all over Japan and organizes music workshops for young people.

Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus performs a wide range of pieces from different periods and genres, but the core of its work is the commission of new compositions by Japanese composers. The number of works, that have been commissioned and premiered by Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus amounts to a number of 184 up to now. By performing these works constantly in their concerts, the choir has taken an important role in building up a fundamental repertoire of contemporary choral music in Japan.

The choir’s present repertoire is including compositions from the renaissance as well as modern masterpieces by Schönberg, Ligeti, Xenakis and works by famous Japanese composers such as Toru Takemitsu, Hikaru Hayashi, Akira Miyoshi, Tokuhide Niimi, Ichiro Nodaira and Akira Nishimura as well as young Japanese composers of the coming generation.

Its strong dedication to contemporary music has contributed to Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus high acclaim in the national and international music world and has been acknowledged with numerous awards such as the Arts Festival Award of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Mainichi Newspaper Arts Award and the Kyoto Music Award amongst others.

The choir has also made several appearances overseas, beginning with a tour to the five ASEAN countries in 1979, followed by a tour to the United States with concerts in seven cities in 1987, and a tour to Europe due to an invitation by the IFCM (International Federation of Choral Music) in 1997. In June 2000 Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus toured four cities in Canada and on the occasion of their 50th anniversary in 2006 gave six concerts in Latvia and Estonia.

Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus is proud of its musical director and conductor laureate, Nobuaki Tanaka, who is the best-known conductor in Japan in the field of contemporary choral music. During the last decade the chorus has had successful concerts with European conductors: Paul Hillier in 1991 and 1992, John Alldis in 1994 and 1996, James Wood in 1995 and 1997 and Georg Christoph Biller, cantor of St. Thomas Leipzig, in 1999. At present the choir is regularly working with Wolfdieter Maurer (Principal Guest Conductor), Chifuru Matsubara (Principal Conductor), Kenji Otani (Conductor) and Shigeki Miyamatsu, Shinji Moriguchi and Kazuki Yamada as conductors in residence.

In 2007 Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus was awarded the 38th Suntory Music Award and the Nakajima Kenzo Music Award.

Major Awards

  • the Art Festival Award of the Agency for Cultural Affairs
  • the Mainichi Newspaper Performing Arts Award
  • the Kyoto Music Award
■“Conductor Kazuki Yamada, Great Chorus Pieces by Japanese Composers” ( Octavia Records OVCL-00425 )
Shin Sato: "Tsuchi no Uta" Cantata for mixed chorus and orchestra Ikuma Dan: "Chikugogawa" for mixed chorus and orchestra Makiko Kinoshita: "Seagulls" for mixed chorus and orchestra Toru Takemitsu: from "Songs" for mixed chorus 、cond: Kazuki Yamada / orch: Tokyo Symphony Orchestra / chrs: Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus
■“Joyful Joyful” Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus ( fontec EFCD4173 )
Joji Yuasa: “Wind” for mixed chorus (2006) text by Shuntaro Tanikawa “Breath” for mixed chorus (2004) text by Shuntaro Tanikawa “Autumn” for mixed chorus (2006) text by Shuntaro Tanikawa 、cond: Keita Matsui / pf: Katsunori Maeda / choir: Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus
■"Mizu no Inochi" ( fontec EFCD4178 )
Saburo Takata, Akira Miyoshi, Makoto Sato 、cond: Keita Matsui / pf: Katsunori Maeda / choir: Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus
■Toru Takemitsu Complete Chorus Pieces ( Octavia Records )
Toru Takemitsu: Songs for Mixed Chorus("Ashita wa Hare kana, Kumori kana" "Chiisana Heya de" "Koi no Kakurembo" "Maru to Sankaku no Uta" "Mienai Kodomo" "Sakura" "Sayonara" "Shima e" "Shinda Otoko no Naokoshita Mono wa" "Tsubasa" "Utau dake" "Wind Horse" "Grass" "Handmade Proverbs" "MI・YO・TA" 、cond:Kazuki Yamada / chor:Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus



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