Toshiaki Umeda

Conductor

Biography

Born in Tokyo in 1961, Toshiaki Umeda began learning piano at the age of five under Naoyuki Inoue, Yasushi Arai, and others. Completed undergraduate degree at Toho Gakuen School of Music in 1984, studying conducting under Seiji Ozawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, and Tadaaki Odaka, contrabass under Mitsuru Onozaki, and piano and chamber music under Akira Miyoshi. Studied under Jean Fournet 1983-84 during Fournet's stay in Japan. Completed graduate studies in the research department in 1986. Sent on the recommendation of the NHK Symphony Orchestra to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellelende Kunst in Wien in 1986-87, where he studied under Otmar Suitner.
Following his return to Japan, Umeda served as conductor for the Century Orchestra of Osaka from December 1989 to April 1992. Since April 1990, has also been the conductor for the Sendai Philharmonic, and made his subscription concert debut in September 1992, conducting Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. In addition, was conductor of the Kanagawa Philharmonic from April 1992 to March 1996. In April 2000, he took up the post of permanent conductor for the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. He exerted concerted efforts toward its development, and continued in that post until March 2006. He has performed with such major Japanese orchestras as the NHK Symphony, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
He has serves as guest conductor in joint concerts with the major orchestras of Japan, including the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Yomiuri Japan Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, building deep relationships of trust with them all. At both the 1st and the 2nd Sendai International Music Competitions, in 2001 and 2004 respectively, he conducted all of the concertos (in the two sections of violin and piano) and received high praise for his work from the performers, the audiences, and from judges from both at home and abroad.
In January 1996, Umeda won accolades for conducting subscription concerts of the Sudwestdeutsche Philharmonie and the Slovak Philharmony. He has obtained the deep trust of all orchestras with which he has worked for his astute conducting and his stance of fidelity to music, making him one of the most promising conductors on not just the Japanese but world stage.