Joji Hattori

Joji Hattori is one of the leading Japanese musicians of his generation and has enjoyed a varied career as a musician, firstly as a concert violinist, an activity which has developed into directing chamber orchestras, conducting symphony orchestras and finally operas. He has been Associate Guest Conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra since 2004, 2007-08 he served as Principal Resident Conductor of the Opera House in Erfurt, Germany and 2009-11 as Music Director of the open-air Summer Festival at Schloss Kittsee in Austria. Joji Hattori is also Music Director of the Tokyo Ensemble since 2001.

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As guest conductor he regularly works with orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra London, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Slovakian Philharmonic, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker or the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera with three performances of The Magic Flute, conducting in fact the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the pit. He has also conducted repeatedly at the New National Theatre Tokyo which is Japan’s leading opera house.

He was born in Japan and spent his childhood in Vienna. Influenced by both cultures, Hattori is today one of the very few musicians of Asian heritage who is respected internationally for his interpretation of the Viennese Classics. He started playing the violin at the age of five and studied at the Vienna Academy of Music, followed by further studies with Yehudi Menuhin and Vladimir Spivakov. In 1989 he won the International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in England. After a decade of international activities as a violin soloist, he turned to conducting and in 2002 he was given a major award at the Lorin Maazel-Vilar Conducting Competition at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Apart from his performing activities, he is President and Member of the Jury of the International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition and in 2003 he was made Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, London. Having studied social anthropology at Oxford University (St. Antony College), he also continues to research the questions around the national identity of human beings.

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