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​About us

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TAJIMI CHOIR JAPAN


Tajimi Choir Japan has about 70 members ranging from 5 years old to adult but most members are elementary, junior high, high school, or university students. Members mainly come from the Tajimi City area, but some come from Kani, Ena, Nakatsugawa, and Gifu City. Many senior and satellite members are from Nagoya, Yamanashi, and Tokyo.

 

Tajimi Choir Japan has had the honor of premiering ten commissioned works by Japanese composers. These works include:

 

1990 “Asa no Habataki” by Akira Miyoshi

1998 “Three Songs” by Ichiyanagi Toshi

1999 “Tamanegi no Komoriuta” by Yoichi Sugiyama

2000 “Hajimeni Kami ha Ten to Chi wo Sozosareta” by Atsuhiko Gondai

2001 “Ave Maria / Stabat Mater / Salve Regina” by Atsuhiko Gondai

2004 “Aru Kagakusha no Kotoba” by Ichiro Nodaira

2010 “Shinkaron” by Ichor Nodaira

1994 to 2013 “Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu” by Hikaru Hayashi

2014 “Furikaereba Neko ga Ita” Opera by Akira Nishimura

2020 “Tenko for Pipe Organ and Chorus” Noh Opera by Yui Kakinuma and Makoto Sato

 

Tajimi Choir Japan performs locally as well as internationally. The choir has performed in Singapore, the USA, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and other international locations.

 

The choir has had the honor of performing with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Kenichiro Kobayashi, Norichika Iimori, and others), Mayumi Miyata (world-famous shō musician), Chieko Fukunaga (a koto musician), percussionist Mutsuko Fujii, and Michio Kobayashi (a harpsichord player and conductor).

 

There are over ten audio and video recordings of Tajimi Choir Japan available on CD and DVD/Blu-ray (BD).

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NOBUAKI TANAKA  Conductor Laureate Musical Director (retired)

 

Nobuaki Tanaka of Niigata prefecture is a founder and former musical director of the Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo. In 1952 he attended Tokyo University of the Arts where he studied vocal music with Prof. Margarete Netke-Leve and conducting with Prof. Kurt Wöss.

After graduating from college in 1956, he and 20 other graduate students from the Tokyo University of Arts founded the Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo (Tokon). Mr Tanaka was the conductor and music director of Tokon and in 1997, after many successful years with Tokon, he received the honor of Conductor Laureate.

In addition to his work with Tokon and Tajimi Choir Japan, he has been a lecturer at Tokyo University of Arts, a visiting professor at Toho Gakuen College, and an invited professor at Kunitachi College of Music. He has worked with many composers to create Japanese choral music and he has conducted the premieres of over 400 choral songs.

Mr Tanaka became the Music Director at Tokon in 2007 and retained that title until his retirement in 2014. Although he is retired now, he continues to energetically teach student and amateur choirs throughout Japan.

1986 – Mainichi Art Award

2006 – Asahi Contemporary Music Award

2000 – Order of the Sacred Treasure (4th Class, Gold Rays)

2010 – Exxon Mobile Music Award

2016 – Person of Cultural Merit

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YOKO TSUGE  Conductor

 

Youko Tsuge settled into the Tajimi community and joined Tajimi Choir Japan as the conductor in 1982. Since then, she has won a gold medal at the National Grossman Chorus Music Competition. She met Nobuaki Tanaka (founder and conductor laureate of the Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo) in 1985 which led her to the front line of the Japanese chorus world. Ms Tsuge has since been enthusiastically engaged in many activities with Mr. Tanaka.

 

In 2020 she commissioned a new Japanese Noh opera piece entitled “Tenko for Pipe Organ and Chorus” by Yui Kakinuma and Makoto Sato. The performance was a wonderful way to connect children’s songs with traditional Japanese Noh culture and the pipe organ (often called “the king of instruments” in the West).

 

In the hope of promoting the musical culture of the Tokai region, Ms Tsuge also established the “Ensemble Cera” orchestra with local musicians, which provides many people the opportunity to play in an orchestra and perform live concerts with Tajimi Choir Japan.

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KENSUKE OHIRA  Artist in Residence

Kensuke Ohira is an international artist and was organist at the Stiftskirche Stuttgart until December 2020. Following his studies in Tokyo and Würzburg/Germany, his First Place in the ION - Musica Sacra 2016 competition in Nuremberg ("Johann-Pachelbel-Preis") was the starting point of an international career. He regularly receives invitations to organ events and festivals such as Internationale Dresdner Orgelwochen (Frauenkirche / International Organ Weeks Dresden), Orgelsommer Freiburger Münster (Freiburg Cathedral Organ Summer), as in Konzerthaus Berlin, St Pauls Cathedral (UK) and La Madeleine (FR).  As a soloist Kensuke Ohira performed with orchestras like the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra (C. Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3), Gedai Philharmonia ( T. Escaich: Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, first performance in Japan) and as a member of the group "Muromachi" (Prof. Laurent Teycheney). Several further engagements at home and abroad on the most famous organs and with orchestras are on his calendar for the next few years.  Kensuke Ohira received his first musical education at Tokyo University of Arts. Beginning in fall 2010 he went to Musikhochschule Würzburg on a scholarship awarded by DAAD and the Japanese Ministry of Culture, where he graduated the course of advanced studies in organ (Meisterklassendiplom) in 2013. He then attended the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München to study Sacred Music A and Comtemporary Music.  His most influential musical teachers were Christoph Bossert, Bernhard Haas, Masaaki Suzuki, Hiroko Asai and Rie Hiroe. As a conductor he founded Bach-Cantata-Club Würzburg and was its musical director from 2013-15. From 2015-2017 he served as musical assistant to KMD Kay Johannsen at Stiftskirche Stuttgart. 2017-2018 he was representing Kantor Ev. Church in Stuttgart-Botnang, then the chage to the Stiftskirche Stuttgart as Stiftsorganist.  Since 2021 Kensuke Ohira is principal organist at the Hijirigaoka Church in Tokyo and Chief organist of Meiji-Gakuin-University in Yokohama. He has been the artistic director of Ensemble Muromachi since 2022, succeeding Laurent Teycheney.

© ︎Sandra Wolf

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