1935 – 2009
Who was Hiroshi Wakasugi?
Born in New York, where his father was the Japanese Consul-General, Wakasugi studied music with Hideo Saito and Norbert Kaneko at the Tokyo University of the Arts. After graduation, he was appointed researching conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra. From 1965, he led and developed the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, now one of the leading orchestras in Japan. For their premiere of Penderecki's St. Luke Passion, Wakasugi was awarded the National Arts Festival Prize by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 1968. He established the Tokyo Chamber Opera Theatre in 1969, and was its Artistic Director at the time of his death.
Besides leading many international orchestras, Hiroshi Wakasugi was principal conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1977 to 1983, and general music director of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf from 1981 to 1986. He was artistic director and principal conductor of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich in Switzerland from 1987 to 1991. From 1982 to 1991, he was also a permanent conductor at the Semperoper Dresden and Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden.
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