Japanese conductor Nishimoto honored at Vatican music festival

Kyodo

Conductor Tomomi Nishimoto was honored at the Vatican music festival in a ceremony held by the annual event’s sponsoring foundation in Rome on Thursday, becoming the first Japanese to win the award.

Nishimoto, 44, will conduct concerts at two venues, including Saint Peter’s Basilica, on Friday and Sunday.

The foundation praised her contribution to the study of “oratio,” originating in Gregorian chant prayers among secret Christians on Ikitsuki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, where her great-grandmother was born.

After receiving the award, Nishimoto said she was very grateful and wanted to offer the prize to the nameless people on Ikitsuki Island who have continued to pass on oratio by word of mouth.

The IlluminArt Philharmonic Orchestra led by Nishimoto participated in the music festival last year, the first Asian orchestra to do so.