Tadaaki Otaka

Permanent Conductor, NHK Symphony and Tokyo Philharmonic
Conductor Laureate, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Chief Conductor, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra (from April 2017, Music Director April 2018)

© Martin Richardson


Japanese Maestro Tadaaki Otaka is Permanent Conductor of the NHK Symphony, Conductor Laureate of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and has recently been announced as Chief Conductor of Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. In April 2015 he was appointed Honorary Music Director of Sapporo Symphony after a distinguished career as their Music Director. He is also Honorary Conductor Laureate of the Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo, and has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (2009-2012) and as Artistic Director of the New National Theatre, Tokyo (2010-2014)

Plans for the 2017/18 season include performances with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who celebrate their 90th anniversary this season, with renowned soloists Steven Isserlis and Catherine Wyn-Rogers, and extensive work in Japan with many of the country’s leading orchestras, including Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony and the New Japan Philharmonic.



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    10 Nov 16 Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    St David's Hall, Cardiff


    “Majesty and beauty in Daphnis et Chloé from Tadaaki Otaka and BBC NOW”

    Simon Rees, Bachtrack, 11 November 2016

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    06 May 15 Walton: Belshazzar's Feast Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    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, Classical Source, 06 May 2015

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    31 Jan 15 Takemitsu, Miyoshi 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.”

    Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times, 01 February 2015 

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    21 Jul 14 BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    St David's Hall, Cardiff

    “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”

    Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard, April 2013

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    11 May 14 Beethoven, Brahms BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    St David's Hall, Cardiff


    “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, 12 May 2014

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    01 Aug 12 BBC Proms 2012 BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    Royal Albert Hall

    “…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”
    Guy Dammann, The Guardian, August 2012

Osaka Philharmonic

Tadaaki Otaka has recently been announced as the new Chief Conductor of Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. He succeeds Michiyoshi Inoue who steps down in April 2017 when Otaka will become  Musical Advisor, taking up the position of Music Director from April 2018 until at least Spring 2021.

Maestro Otaka will become the third Chief Conductor of the orchestra which was originally known as the Kansai Symphony and established in 1947.