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Atsushi YamadaPrincipal Conductor

Atsushi Yamada

“The Philharmonia Orchestra of New York is at the starting lines of using classical music to promote global education and international exchange.”

Atsushi Yamada is the first Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York. After graduating as an Earth Science major at Waseda University in Japan, he spent a few years working for IBM and SONY. A self-taught musician, he played as an “amateur” musician on the side before coming to New York and joining the Internship Conductor Program at the New York City Opera. He studied under then Music Director of the New York City Opera, Maestro George Manahan, as an Assistant Conductor. In 2003, he was selected as Regular Conductor for the company’s production of Hansel and Gretel and made a sensational debut at Lincoln Center. He is the first Japanese conductor in the history of the New York City Opera and only the second Japanese conductor at Lincoln Center.

Mr. Yamada has an extended history of intertwining music with cultural exchange and charity work. In 1995, he produced and conducted a charity concert series with the Amateur Choral Association to support victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he conducted a concert series jointly produced by the New York City Opera and Tokyo City Orchestra in memory of those lost. Under his conductorship, the New York City Opera Orchestra traveled to Japan and performed Madama Butterfly at the 2005 World Expo in Aichi. Between 2006 and 2009, he served as the Music Director of the Asian Artists’ Symphony (later known as the New York Asian Symphony Orchestra). Since the natural disasters in Japan in 2011, Maestro Yamada has partnered with Project Hand in Hand to give over 400 students the opportunity to perform as part of a cultural exchange chorus. Maestro Yamada now brings his passion for music and international exchange to the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York and their collaboration with Project Hand-in-Hand.

Maestro Yamada conducted the Mahler and Berlioz symphonies from memory for the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York’s concerts at the Rose Theater in March. This concert marked his tenth performance of the Resurrection Symphony.