Heiichiro Ohyama, Music Director and Conductor

Heiichiro Ohyama holds the position of the Music Director and Conductor of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra(USA), Music Director of Nagasaki Music Festival (Japan), Artistic Director of CHANEL Pygmalion Chamber Music Series and member of The Chamber Players

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Mr. Ohyama studied violin and chamber music at the Toho Music High School and College under Toshiya Eto, Saburo Sumi and Hideo Saito. He graduated from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1970 studying under Yfrah Neaman, William Pleeth and Thurston Dart. He then entered Indiana University where he studied viola with William Primrose and violin with Josef Gingold, Ruggiero Ricci, Franco Gulli and chamber music with Janos Starker, Manaham Pressler. He later taught as a Visiting Lecturer at the Indiana University. As a student, he won the Music Competition of Japan (1966), British Council Music Scholarship (1968), Carl Flesch International Violin Competition (1968), the BBC Beethoven Competition (1969), as well as both the violin and viola competitions at Indiana University (1971).

In 1974, he won the Young Concert Artist International Audition Award of New York and after being a participant of the Marlboro Music Festival for several summers, he became increasingly in demand as violist and has performed throughout the United States and abroad. He has also participated as a chamber musician at many festivals including Casals Festival, Kuhumo International Music Festival(Finland), Johannesen International Music Festival(Canada), Okinawa Moon Beach Music Festival(Japan), Brescia and Bergamo Festivals(Italy), Chamber Music Northwest, Sarasota Music Festival and Caramor Chamber Music Festival.

He has collaborated with many great musicians including: Emanuel Ax, Myung Whun Chung, Lynn Harrell, Nobuko Imai, Gidon Kremer, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Radu Lupu, André Previn, André-Michel Schub, Takahiro Sonoda, Isaac Stern, Kyoko Takezawa and Pinchas Zukerman.

In 1979 he was named Principal Violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Carlo Maria Giulini, a position he held for 13 years. In 1981, he began conducting the Youth String Orchestra of the Crossroads School for Sciences and Arts. In 1983 he was appointed the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. In 1987, Mr. Ohyama was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Andre Previn. He held this position for nearly four years and conducted the Philharmonic, including subscription concerts, at the Los Angeles Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.

His experience also includes being the Principal Conductor of the Round Top Music Festival in Texas for 12 years beginning in 1982, the Music Director and Conductor of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra in Seattle from 1985-87, Music Director and Conductor of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in New York from 1993-98, Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival from 1991-97, Artistic Director of the La Jolla Chamber Music Society’s SummerFest La Jolla from 1986-97, Music Director and Conductor of the Asia America Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles from 1990-2000, the Principal Chief Conductor of Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan from 1999-2004 and the Osaka Symphoniker from 2004-2008. He was also Professor of Music at University of California since 1973 to 2002. In 2005, he received the ‘Fukuoka City Cultural Prize’ and in 2008, ‘Outstanding Performance Award’ by the Japanese Government.

In 1990, Mr. Ohyama made his European conducting debut with the Orchestra of the Opera de Lyon and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Since then, he has made conducting appearances with Baltimore Symphony, Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra(Germany), Eastern Music Festival Orchestra( North Carolina), Hale Symphony(England), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra de Bretagne(France), Royal Academy Sinfonietta (England), San Diego Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and, in Japan, Ensemble Kanazawa, Kyoto Symphony, Nagoya Philharmonic, New Nippon Symphony, Toho Music School Academy Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. He also took the Asia America Symphony Orchestra on a tour of Japan in 1992. Mr. Ohyama has been heard frequently on radio and television and has recorded on the CBS, Evica(Japan), Nonesuch, Philips, RCA, and Stereophiles labels.

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