Profile of Yuri Nitta

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To grab your pen and write about the life and career achievements of  Yuri Nitta's would always be a dare. Plato, thousands of years ago, claimed that  "Art has no end but its own perfection."

The fact that the author should include various milestones, achieved in a so-far successful and still ongoing career, would be the real deal.

How challenging, thus engaging, could have been to settle for second best..

   Yuri was born in Tokyo, in 1961. The blend of art and creativity wasn't about to slink and her spirit decided to give in to the piano studies, at the early age of four. That might have been the butterfly effect for her career to be triggered.

 In 1980, she enrolled at the “Kunitachi College of music” and after four years of studies and, graduating with success, she got accepted to the Class of Diploma of “Tohogakuen College of music”, in 1986. At the age of 18, she began her studies of conducting under the instructions of Mr. Kazuhiko Komatsu. Later on, a few more important people, generously, offered their conducting knowledge to her like Tadaaki Otaka, Seiji Ozawa, and Kazuyoshi Akiyama.

   In 1990, after having spent years of studying and evolving her skills, the time for the first honors had come. She was a finalist of Besancon International Young Conductor Competition. One year later, she took the second prize in "Tokyo International Music Competition" (sponsored by Min-On). Since then, she has been invited as a guest conductor to various orchestras, like Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, and Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmony Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmony Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and many others. Also, she has been working with the wind orchestra- Osaka municipal wind band , Tokyo Wind Orchestra, and Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra.

   Yuri has also a great presence in the music industry. Fifteen CDs of hers have been released, so far.

 -“Symbiosis", composed by Jun Nagao, Trumpet soloist: Jouko Harjanne, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra.

  - “Rainbow-Bridge to Pray”, Japanese songs performed by Jouko Harjanne

Straightly after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami, she drew up the plan and Mr.Harjanne recorded Japanese songs through his courtesy.

A part of the earnings was donated to Ashinaga, the organization which supports orphans.

 

  -1 CD with Limmat-Kammerorchester.

 -12 CDs with “Osaka Municipal wind band” and “Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra”.

   One other creative side of her rich career is conducting Operas. "Die Entführung aus dem Serail","Le nozze di Figaro", "Don Giovanni", "Cosi fan tutte", "Die Zauberflöte", "La serva padrona", "Il segreto di Susanna", "Yuzuru" in Yokohama City Opera and Ota Kumin Opera Association, have been some of the most important milestones of hers, so far.

   Every artist has his own spearhead. Yuri's one is her engagement in Nordic music, notably the Finnish one. In 1992, she decided to devote herself to Nordic music after coming back from a short training course in Salzburg.

In Oct. 2000, studied at Sinfonia Lahti in Finland as a trainee of “Under the overseas study program for upcoming artists” of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Later on, she started learning Finnish music pieces with a focus on ones by Sibelius from Mr. Osmo Vänskä, the music director at those days.

Then, she officiated as an assistant of his at public performances in the national opera house and at the "Savonlinna Opera Festival". Some of her important achievements regarding Finnish music are:

 

-In 1992, after coming back from Salzburg, she met the music pieces By Niels Gade and started to study and perform the Nordic music.

 

-In 2001

Jan. conducted the concert of Sinfonia Lahti for sponsors on behalf of Mr. Vänskä.

Sep. organized the string ensemble group “Ensemble Iris” with the members of Sinfonia Lahti and Lahti Conservatoire. Conducted the concert with Japanese and Finnish music pieces, with those activities being mentioned extensively in the local newspapers.

 

-Aug. 2002, conducted the 2nd concert of Ensemble Iris.

-In 2004, became a member of The Sibelius Society of Japan.

-In 2005

Apr.  had a guest performance with Finnish Navy Band

Jul.-Aug. had a guest performance at “Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival”.

Sep. received the Ramstedt scholarship as a support from “Finnish Friendship and Culture Association in Japan”.

Dec. had a guest performance, which was recorded, with Kuopio Symphony Orchestra.

 

-In 2006,

Feb. produced and conducted the forum “Finland, which a conductor has seen” sponsored by Tokyo Shinbun.

Jul.  had a guest performance at “Lieksa Brass Week“. Mikkeli City Orchestra was conducted by her.

Jul-Aug. had a guest performance at Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival.

-In 2007,
Jan.  was inaugurated as the executive director of The Sibelius Society of Japan.

Jul-Aug. had a guest performance at Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival.

Sep.  had a guest performance at the 10th memorial concert of Chamber Orchestra La Tempesta in Helsinki.

a lot of writing, concerts, lecture talks for the 50th year anniversary of Sibelius’ death. 

Dec. produced and conducted the forum “Finland, which a conductor has seen vol.2” sponsored by Tokyo Shinbun.

 

-in Sep. 2011, had a guest performance with Finnish Defence Forces Wind Brass “Pray for Japan”.

-in Sep. 2012, at the first co-starring with the Aichi Chamber Orchestra, the 11th performance of theirs, featured Symphony no.4 by Gade and had a great success. After the performance, they and her kept performing Gade’s symphony at their regular concerts. As a result of the formidable reputation, their performances were webcasted via Naxos Music Library. Currently we can watch their live recording of symphony no.3 and 4 and more recordings will be added in time to come.

-in Jul. 2013, had a guest performance at Lieksa Brass Week“. Joensuu City Orchestra was conducted by her.

-in Oct. 2014, was inaugurated as the chairman of The Sibelius Society of Japan.

 

-in 2015

Jan.  was inaugurated as a principal conductor of Aichi Chamber Orchestra.

Mar.  performed “Kullervo” with Finlandia Male Chor.Laulu Miehet for the 150th year anniversary of Sibelius’ birth, in Tokyo.

a lot of writing, concerts, lecture talks for the 150th year anniversary of Sibelius’ birth. 

 

 

-in 2017

Mar. attended a dinner party at the office of the Prime Minister when the Finnish President visited Japan.

 -Oct. South Denmark Philharmonic, which is based in Sonderborg, Denmark, got to know her approach over many years and invited her as a guest conductor for the regular concert with all-Denmark program at the 150th memorial year of establishment of diplomatic relations.

 

Nov.  her activities were introduced in “Rondo”, the magazine of Finnish music.

 

-in 2019

Jul-Aug. Yuri is invited to have a guest performance together with Aichi Chamber Orchestra at “Lieksa Brass Week” in Finland.

 

   In the field of authoring, she has contributed a music column, an essay, and an article to a newspaper and a music magazine, since 2004. She wrote program notes for NHK Symphony Orchestra and Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo, in 2007, as an expert of Nordic music.

   Yuri holds various significant positions in many institutions:

-She became the regular conductor of "Aichi Chamber Orchestra" , in Jan.2015.
-She is a teacher of "Kunitachi College of Music"  and "Soai University".

-She is a Chairman of "Japan Sibelius Society".
-She belongs to the "Tokyo concerts Management Office", since 2012.

 

   The future is just around the corner. Boosting the fame of "Aichi Chamber Orchestra" and increasing the number of regular concerts that are annually held, is one of Yuri's main priorities.  In order to achieve that, she is planning to add various Nordic music pieces to their repertoire. Composers like Jean Sibelius, Carl Nielsen, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Kalevi Aho are going to have the lion's share in her effort to achieve the best upshot.

One other objective of hers is to collaborate with many orchestras by making full use of her Nordic and Japanese repertoire. Furthermore, she is planning to introduce significant, yet-unknown, Nordic music pieces to the Japanese audience.

   As everyone could tell, Art complements Philosophy and vice versa. Yuri's life philosophy represents the fact that "Music might be the panacea for all". After a short discussion with her, someone could easily comprehend the point of her words. Her passion and devotion to Music and Art (in general) guarantee that her future plans about utilizing music, in a way that can assist and/or collaborate with other forms of Art and Science, will reassure us that there is light at the end of the tunnel..

 

 

With special thanks to Chiho Tabata for the research.

Written by Themis Bliziotis,

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