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Kazuyoshi Akiyama Edit Profile

秋山 和慶


Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Japanese conductor. Recipient Torii prize, 1974, Suntory Music award, 1975, 1995, Kyoto Music award, 1993, Mainichi Arts award, 1995, Arts Encouragement prize, Japanese Minister Education, 1995, Emperor's Purple Ribbon medal, Japanese Government, 2001.


Akiyama, Kazuyoshi was born on January 2, 1941 in Tokyo.


Born into a musical family, he studied piano at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, but was fascinated by the conducting activities of a fellow student, Seiji Ozawa.


He decided to study conducting with Hideo Saito. In 1974, Akiyama made his debut with the Tokyo Symphony, and within two months, he was named the orchestra’s Music Director and Permanent Conductor. He has held a number of conducting posts internationally: Assistant Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1968–1969) Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra (1973–1978) Music Director (1974–2004) and Conductor Laureate (2004 to date) of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (1974–2004) Music Director (1972–1985) and Conductor Laureate (1985 to date) of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (1972–1985) Music Director (1985–1993) and Conductor Emeritus (1993 to date) of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Principal Conductor and Music Advisor of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra (1998 to date) Principal Conductor and Music Advisor of the Kyushu Symphony Principal Guest Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (2004–2005) With the Tokyo Symphony, he conducted the Japanese premieres of Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, John Adams' El Niño and Lachenman's The Little Match Girl.


  • Akiyama is the recipient of the 1974 Suntory Music Award. In 2001, Akiyama was awarded the Emperor’s Purple Ribbon Medal from the Japanese Government for his outstanding contribution to the country’s musical culture.


  • Other Work

    • Conducting debut, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, 1964. Permanent conductor, music director, 1974-2004, conductor laureate, since 2004. Principal guest conductor, Osaka Philharmonic, since 1965, assistant conductor, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Symphony, 1968-1969, resident conductor, music director, Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada) Symphony Orchestra, 1972-1985, conductor laureate, since 1985.

      Music director, American Symphony Orchestra, 1973, 78, Syracuse Symphony, 1985-1993, conductor emeritus, since 1993. Guest conductor numerous orchestras throughout world.