Sapporo Symphony Orchestra


News News

2023.10. 2

【Immediate Release】 Change in our conductors from fiscal 2024

【Immediate Release】 Change in our conductors from fiscal 2024
Due to completion of tenure of Mo. Matthias Bamert, Chief Conductor of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, as of March 2024, we will invite the following conductors.

【Our conductors from April 2024 and beyond】
Tatsuya Shimono, Principal Guest Conductor (from April 2024); Tadaaki Otaka, Honorary Music Director, Junichi Hirokami, Friendship Conductor, and Kentaro Kawase, Resident Conductor.
Elias Grandy will be our Chief Conductor from April 2025.

Tatsuya SHIMONO(Principal Guest Conductor from April 2024)

Born in Kagoshima in 1969, Tatsuya Shimono cemented his international reputation as a conductor by winning the First Prize at the 47th Besançon International Competition in 2001. Since then he has regular relationships with a number of international orchestras including Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz and Silicon Valley Symphony, alongside with major Japanese orchestras.

In 2006 Shimono was appointed Resident Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and served as their Principal Guest Conductor from 2013 through 2017. In April 2017 he became General Music Director of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra. Shimono is currently also Music Director of the Hiroshima Wind Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his work with symphony orchestras Shimono’s opera conducting has included Die Zauberflöte, Hänsel und Gretel and The Merry Widow at Nikikai Opera, Medea, Lear (both composed by Aribert Reimann) and Hänsel und Gretel at the Nissay Theatre, La Forza del Destino at the Japan Metropolitan Opera and The Silence (Teizo Matsumura) at New National Theatre Tokyo. He has been invited to a plethora of music festivals, including the Affinis Music Festival, the Kirishima International Music Festival, the Miyazaki Music Festival, and the Beppu Argerich Music Festival. He was resident conductor at the 2010 Saito Kinen Festival that included conducting four concerts with the Saito Kinen Orchestra. Following on from this he made his North American debut with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Contemporary music forms an important part of Shimono’s career, conducting repertoire across the spectrum including Ades, Cage, Glass, Gruber HK, Adams, Takemitsu and Hosokawa.

Tatsuya Shimono’s recordings include Strauss Ein Heldenleben with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Bruckner Symphony in D minor (No. 0) with the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tatsuya Shimono received numerous awards such as the Idemitsu Music Award, the Akeo Watanabe Music Foundation Award, the Nippon Steel Music Award (New Artist Award), the 6th Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award. (from


Elias Grandy (Chief Conductor from April 2025)

Elias Grandy’s international profile is rapidly rising by conducting first-class orchestras and opera productions in Europe, America and Asia. Hailed by the press as “passionate and full of temperament”, “vigorous and equally precise” and praised for his ability to “grasp psychological subtleties under a microscope”, the German-Japanese conductor gave recently highly successful debuts with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic and Minnesota Orchestra.

In 23/24 the energetic, charismatic conductor will return to Frankfurt Radio Symphony, National Youth Orchestra of Germany and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Tokyo and give debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken. Furthermore, he will take the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie Chemnitz on a tour to Poland as their “conductor in residence” for 23/24 and appear frequently with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he enjoys a close relationship for many years.

Elias is equally devoted as an opera conductor, feeling passionately about theatre and musically shaping the narrative of each drama. In recent years he has conducted highly acclaimed productions of Elektra and Carmen at Minnesota Opera, Werther and A Village Romeo and Juliet at Frankfurt Opera, Un ballo in maschera at Aalto-Theatre Essen, Carmen at Opera Nikikai Tokyo and Rusalka at Portland Opera. Future engagements include the Semperoper Dresden and reinvitations to Frankfurt Opera and Opera Nikikai Tokyo.

Last season he finished his tenure as music director of Heidelberg’s Opera and Philharmonic orchestra where he significantly raised the caliber of both, providing thoughtful, innovative programming and burnishing the city’s fast-growing reputation as a vital musical hub. Enthusiastic about making music more accessible, he introduced several highly popular concert formats for young people and an educated audience. His final season programme included Prokofjev’s Love for Three Oranges, Bruckner’s Symphony No.7 and a series of unknown works by female composers.

Born of German-Japanese parents Elias studied cello and conducting in Munich, Basel, and Berlin. He worked as a cellist in orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Komische Oper Berlin. He started his conducting career as Resident Conductor at Staatstheater Darmstadt and shortly after won the prestigious Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. In 2015 he was named music director in Heidelberg, a position he held until 2023.

Grandy first participated the Pacific Music Festival, Sapporo as a cellist, later as a conductor, and has a close relationship with City of Sapporo. (from