Ryusuke Numajiri, Conductor and Composer


Ryusuke Numajiri divides most of his time between Germany, where he has been musical director of the Theater Lubeck since September 2013, and Japan, where he is both head of the Tokyo Mitaka Philharmonia (formerly Tokyo Mozart Players) and artistic director of the Biwako Hall in Otsu.

In 1990, Numajiri was propelled to the forefront of the international conducting spotlight by winning First Prize in the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors. This victory resulted in invitations to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Staatskapelle Weimar and Darmstadt, China Philharmonic Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other recent major highlights include engagements with the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa , the Orchestra Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste; and a production of Madame Butterfly at the Opera Australia, acclaimed by the press as being "great, from beginning to end, […] a world class production" (Bachtrack).

A strong advocate of contemporary music, Ryusuke Namjiri recorded in 1999 The Canticle of the Sun by Sofia Gubaidulina with EMI, featuring Mstislav Rostropovich and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also directed the Japanese premieres of several major contemporary works including Philip Glass' Peace Symphony, Busoni's Concerto for Piano and Doktor Faustus, Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg and Schoenberg's Notturno. Other notable mentions include works by Messiaen, Andriessen, Gecki, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Berio, Dutilleux, Xenakis, Birtwistle, Matthews and Rottand Ichiro Nodaira. Finally, in 2006 he led the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin for a concert commemorating Tōru Takemitsu, who died ten years earlier.

Since his opera debut, Mozart's Il Seraglio, in 1997, Ryusuke Numajiri has been invited to conduct at the New National Theatre Tokyo (The Marriage of Figaro, Tosca, Carmen), the Cologne Opera (Krenek's Johnny spielt auf), Komische Oper Berlin (Mozart's Don Giovanni), and Theater Basel (Cosi fan tutte). In 2014, Ryusuke composed his own opera Bamboo Princess, taking inspiration from an old Japanese folk tale, with performances in Japan and Vietnam.

Down to his eclectic taste and curiosity, Ryusuke Numajiri's discography includes a wide variety of composers such as; Gubaidulina (EMI), Takemitsu (3 CDs Denon); Messiaen, Mahler and Mendelssohn (Century Orchestra); and Beethoven (Tokyo Mitaka Philharmonia.)

January 2016

Theater photo by Sidny Smith / Copyright © Ryusuke Numajiri All Rights Reserved.