Tadaaki Otaka


Maestro Otaka is Permanent Conductor of the NHK, Tokyo and Sapporo Symphony Orchestras and Conductor Laureate of BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He served as Artistic Director at the New National Theatre,Tokyo 2010-14 and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2012.

Plans for 14/15 season includes BBCNOW, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Juilliard School of Music in a special programme to celebrate Takemitsu as well as many varied programmes with his Japanese orchestras. Recent highlights include Britten's War Requiem with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sapporo Symphony's critically-acclaimed European tour in 2011. In 2012 he conducted Walton's Belshazzar's Feast  at BBC Proms with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and recently toured with NHK Symphony to China to commemorate 40 years of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
In recognition of his outstanding services to music in the UK, Tadaaki Otaka received an honorary CBE and is also holder of the Suntory Medal, the highest musical award in his native Japan.  He was Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra for twenty years, and in 1987 he was made Music Director of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, before becoming their Conductor Laureate in 1996. His discography includes the complete Rachmaninov Symphonies and piano concertos, a Glazunov symphony cycle, Britten’s Peter Grimes and many contemporary scores.

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    Belshazzar's Feast (Praise ye)


Royal Albert Hall, London

WALTON Spitfire Prelude and Fugue
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Concerto Accademico
GRACE WILLIAMS Fairest of Stars
ELGAR Froissart
WALTON Symphony No. 2

Ailish Tynan
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
BBC Proms 

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Belshazzar's Feast - RPO

Royal Festival Hall

"I have heard both Walton himself and Malcolm Sargent give stunningly impressive live accounts of this thrilling and still completely unique masterpiece, but this - to my astonished delight - was right up there with them.... A great concert and a fine tribute to the power and depth of British Music" Robert Matthew-Walker

Juilliard Orchestra

Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Juilliard School

"....the Juilliard Orchestra played with exquisite attention to nuance under the direction of Tadaaki Otaka.... Mr. Otaka excelled at conjuring up billowing surges of great plasticity and vaporous pianissimos, as in Mr. Takemitsu’s “Twill by Twilight,” which begins with an upward curling motif that drifts, planes and seemingly evaporates into nothing. There was a wonderful transparency to parts of Mr. Miyoshi’s “Noesis” where the borders between individual sounds seemed to grew porous." The New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

Beethoven and Brahms


St David's Hall

"The performance was a superb confirmation of Otaka’s status as an interpretation of symphonic music, extending beyond Rachmaninov as far as Takemitsu." **** Simon Rees, Bachtrack

BBC National Orchestra of Wales


"One sense a mutual respect and fondness which are reflected in performance. This concert was no exception as so often Otaka drew playing of the highest order from the orchestra" April 2013 Seen and Heard, Glyn Pursglove


Oct 2010

BBC Symphony Chorus and National Chorus of Wales

'BBCNOW and their Conductor Laureate, Tadaaki Otaka, have a long and honorable record of interpreting Mahler, and this performance had the ideal combination of innocence and intensity' The Guardian, Rian Evans

BBC Prom 2012

BBC Symphony Chorus and National Chorus of Wales

'...performed with finesse and intensity by the BBCNOW under Tadaaki Otaka, with the BBC Symphony Chorus and National Chorus of Wales creating an impressively coordinated 250-strong choir' The Guardian Guy Dammann