Sapporo Symphony Orchestra

SSO Information

The Orchestra


The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra
Sapporo Symphony Orchestra

Matthias Bamert,Chief Conductor
Tadaaki Otaka, Honorary Music Director
Radomil Eliška, Honorary Conductor
Junichi Hirokami, Friendship Guest Conductor
Shuntaro Sato, Conductor  Yuki Kakiuchi, Conductor

Originally founded as the Sapporo Citizen Symphony on July 1, 1961, it was renamed the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra in 1962. It is the only professional orchestra in Hokkaido, an area of 83,457 square kilometers which makes up 22% of the Japanese archipelago and has a population of more than 5.3 million. The orchestra is affectionately known as "Sakkyo" and the Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara, acclaimed for its splendid acoustics, has been the base and center of the orchestra's activities since 1997. In recent years, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra has been gaining further popularity as the orchestra which presents the vast land of Hokkaido with a clear sound and a dynamic and powerful expression. To date, Masao Araya, Honorary Founding Conductor and Peter Schwarz, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Kazuyoshi Akiyama and Tadaaki Otaka took active roles with the orchestra. Currently, from 2015, the prominent conductor from Germany, Max Pommer is the Chief Conductor, and the orchestra invites Honorary Music Director, Tadaaki Otaka; Honorary Conductor, Radomil Eliška; Friendship Guest Conductor, Junichi Hirokami; and Shuntaro Sato and Yuki Kakiuchi as conductors. Guest conductors in the past include Neumann, Skrowaczewski, Marriner, Penderecki, Dutoit, Eschenbach and Gilbert, and renowned soloists such as Stern, Rampal, Nicole, Suk, Andre, Ashkenazy, Holliger and Argerich appeared on the stage. The orchestra presents approximately 120 regular concerts per year, and approximately 50 smaller concerts for educational and social benefits. The orchestra has made oversea tours, visiting the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Korea, Taiwan and other South-East Asian countries. The orchestra is active recording CDs and has presented Beethoven and Sibelius Symphony Cycles with Otaka, and with Eliška presented Dvorak, Brahms and Tchaikovsky works. Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 "Lobgesang," Bruckner's No. 4 "Romantique," Schumann's Symphony No. 4 and R. Strauss' "Zarathustra" and others were presented with Pommer, which were all highly acclaimed and chosen as Recommended CDs by music magazines and newspapers.

(as of April 2017)