• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever
(Photo credit: Zuzanna Specjal)

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Appoints New Chief Conductor

Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada will be the first non-European conductor to lead the orchestra and will take the helm in Spring 2023


Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1979, Kazuki Yamada has been the UK's City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) Principal Guest Conductor since 2018.

At present, he is also the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. In fact, Yamada intends to strengthen connections between the two orchestras by taking the CBSO Chorus to Monaco for a joint performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in 2023.

For a time, Yamada studied under Seiji Ozawa and credits Ozawa with what he describes as his "Japanese feeling" for music. He hopes to introduce more Japanese repertoire into the CBSO's programs, including works by Toru Takemitsu, Akira Miyoshi, and Toshiro Mayuzumi. Yamada will also take the orchestra on a tour of Japan in 2023.

Yamada began his musical life as a percussionist but added conducting to the mix at the age of 17. His first international success came when he won the Besançon Competition at the age of 30.

Now aged 42, he worried that he might now be too old for the Birmingham position. However, the CBSO's Chief Executive, Stephen Maddock, felt differently.

"We thought: this is silly to extend our search when we’ve got somebody standing here right in front of us who has all that we need,” Maddock said of Yamada.

“From his very first concerts with us, there was an immediate rapport between Kazuki and our musicians, and enormous respect for his musicianship and craft," said Maddock. "Over time that has only deepened, and I know that those who have already seen Kazuki conduct the orchestra will be as thrilled as we are by this news."

“His energy, dynamism and precision make for electrifying concerts and I have no doubt that audiences in Birmingham and beyond will very quickly come to await his next performances as eagerly as our musicians already do, as we embark on new musical adventures together,” he added.

“For me, the best thing about the CBSO is they know how to enjoy music,” Yamada says. “We always create something fresh and exciting. There is always a very warm atmosphere. I am always happy to see them, and am so happy to be part of their family.”

upcoming events

september 2023

17sepAll Day23Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors(All Day) Kursaal, 2 Pl. du Théâtre, 25000 Besançon, FranceEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBesançon International Competition for Young ConductorsFOLLOW

21sepAll Day03octKronberg Academy Festival(All Day) Kronberg Academy, Beethovenpl. 1, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus, GermanyEvent Type :OtherFOLLOW

22sepAll Day24Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festivals(All Day) Cremona Exhibition Centre, Piazza Zelioli Lanzini, 1 26100 Cremona, ItalyEvent Type :conferences & tradeshowsFOLLOW

26sepAll Day30Trondheim International Piano Trio Competition(All Day) Frimurerlogen i Trondhjem Selskapslokaler, Kongens gate 3, 7011 Trondheim, NorwayEvent Type :competitions Event TagsTrondheim International Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

october 2023

16octAll Day27"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition(All Day) Teatro Carlo Felice, Passo Eugenio Montale, 4, 16121 Genova GE, ItalyEvent Type :competitions Event Tags"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

20oct1:00 pm5:00 pmLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls RdEvent Type :competitions Event TagsLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach CompetitionFOLLOW

23octAll Day29Concours de Genève International Music Competition — String Quartet(All Day) Victoria Hall, Rue du Général-Dufour 14, 1204 Genève, SwitzerlandEvent Type :competitions Event TagsConcours de Genève,string quartetFOLLOW

28octAll Day05novISANGYUN International Piano Competition(All Day) Tongyeon Concert Hall, 38, Keunbalgae 1-Gil Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 53079 South KoreaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsIsangYun International Piano Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right