Who We Are

Keitaro Harada Named Associate Conductor of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

M E D I A  A D V I S O R Y

RICHMOND, Va. (April 10, 2015) – The Richmond Symphony is proud to announce that Associate Conductor Keitaro Harada has been appointed as the new Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

While Keitaro will start his new role with Cincinnati starting in the fall of 2015, he will continue to serve out the remainder of his contract with the RSO with a reduced schedule through May of 2016.  In 2015-16 he will conduct the RSO’s Come & Play community concert and three of the Genworth Symphony Pops Series programs including its live score performance to the silent film Nosferatu, the annual Let It Snow holiday concerts and Steve Lippia’s 100th anniversary Frank Sinatra tribute: Centennial Celebration.

Music Director Steven Smith says: “While we are sorry to see Kei go after such a short time here in Richmond, we wish him great success for his new opportunity in Cincinnati and in future endeavors. We are fortunate to be able to attract such a talented young conductor to the RSO and cheer the impact he has made on our organization and community.”

During his time with the RSO, Keitaro has served as the Jack and Mary Ann Frable Associate Conductor for the Richmond Symphony since fall 2014, and conducted various RSO concerts from the Genworth Symphony Pops and Union Bank & Trust LolliPops Series. He also serves as the primary conductor for the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra and Elizabeth G. Schneider Discovery Series education concerts, as well as the annual Come and Play – a concert showcasing the talents of over 600 community members performing alongside Richmond Symphony musicians.


About Keitaro Harada

Conductor Keitaro Harada continues to be recognized at the highest levels for his artistic abilities and passion for musical excellence. As a recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2014 and 2015), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival, Harada’s credentials are exemplary.

Newly appointed Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, Harada is also Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera and Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony. Harada begins his appointment with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra in the fall of 2015. For Arizona Opera, he leads a production of La fille du régiment in spring of 2015 and of Carmen in 2016.

The 2014-15 season held Harada’s conducting debut in Japan with the New Japan Philharmonic in a sold out performance. He also conducted performances with Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora and numerous performances with Richmond Symphony.

In 2013, Harada was selected by the League of American Orchestras as one of only six conductors for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, a prestigious showcase that occurs biennially in an effort to promote gifted, emerging conductors to orchestra industry leaders. In 2012, Harada was a semi-finalist at the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. In 2011, Harada was one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition and he made his professional opera conducting debut with North Carolina Opera.

Early in his career, Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization’s profile, expanded their season; added challenging repertoire, and took the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Harada has also studied under Christoph von Dohnányi, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Herbert Blomstedt, Adrian Gnam and Stefan Asbury. He has been the Principal Guest Conductor for Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra since 2009, is a three-time winner of the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Georgia, received an Honorable Mention in the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was a semi-finalist for the 2009 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico City, Mexico.

Harada champions creative programming, development of the orchestra as a part of a community’s cultural fabric, advancement of each musician he encounters, and responsibility as an artistic and civic leader. A native of Tokyo, Japan, he is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Mercer University. He completed his formal training at University of Arizona with Thomas Cockrell and Charles Bontrager. Very early in his career, he was selected as a guest artist for National Public Radio’s From the Top and is featured as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on the bright career of Keitaro titled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013. Harada’s general manager is JEJ Artists. Engagements in Asia are managed by Japan Arts.


About the Richmond Symphony

Founded in 1957, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy concerts, radio broadcasts, and educational outreach programs. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.