Sapporo Symphony Orchestra


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Conductors and Concertmasters for 2022

Conductors and Concertmasters for 2022

Sapporo Symphony Orchestra will start its fifth season with our chief conductor, Matthias Bamert. With Matthias, orchestra will develop further. Kentaro Kawasa will be joining us as the resident conductor of the orchestra and Junichi Hirokami will be our Friendship Conductor, no longer Guest Conductor. Shurihito Matsumoto will be leaving after 3 years of tenure.

Ribon Aida will be with us as the concertmaster having performed with us as a guest concertmaster for number of occasions.



Matthias Bamert, Chief Conductor; Tadaaki Otaka, Honorary Music Director

Junichi Hirokami, Friendship Conductor (starting April 2022); Kentaro Kawase, Resident Conductor (starting April 2022)


Takahiro Tajima, Ribon Aida (starting April 2022)



Kentaro KAWASE, Resident Conductor

Born in Tokyo in 1984 and graduated with a degree in conducting from the Tokyo College of Music in 2007, having studied under Junichi Hirokami, Yasuhiko Shiozawa and others. Was awarded 2nd place (which was the highest level with no 1st place) at the Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting in 2006, and since then KAWASE has received invitations to conduct Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra among others. He was also the assistant conductor of Pacific Music Festival (2007~2009).

KAWASE is presently the Principal Conductor of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra (until March 2022), the Resident Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Permanent Guest conductor of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. In 2015, he received a music award from the WATANABE Akeo Music Foundation and was further awarded in 2016 at the 14th Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award, as well as the 26th ‘Idemitsu Music Award.’ KAWASE is a special lecturer in conducting at the Tokyo College of Music.


Ribon AIDA , Sakkyo Concertmaster

Born in 1990 and while studying in Toho Gakuen School of Music Soloist Diploma Course, she was awarded the first prize at the 81st Japan Music Competition with four sub-prizes. She was also awarded the first prize at Rumania International Music Competition. As a soloist, AIDA performed with number of orchestras within Japan as well as appearing every season in Miyazaki International Music Festival, joining in Saito Kinen Orchestra and performing as a member of Triton Harumi Orchestra. Since 2010, she visits Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy Okushiga and served as a soloist or concertmaster under Seiji Ozawa. In 2016, she released a Duo CD with Tomoko Kawata.  AIDA studied under in Asako Iwasawa, Takeaki Sumi, and Tsugio Tokunaga, and chamber music with Seiji Ozawa, Sadao Harada, Yoshiko Kawamoto and Julien Szulman. She is a special guest concertmaster of City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra from 2020. Sapporo Symphony Orchestra has been inviting AIDA for concerts held within Hokkaido and Subscriptions since January 2020.