Kanagawa orchestra taps prodigy

Kyodo

The Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that 28-year-old Kentaro Kawase will become its resident conductor from next April, making him the youngest Japanese to assume such a high-level post.

The Yokohama-based group also said Friday that Kazuhiro Koizumi, 63, will serve as its special guest conductor. Kawase and Koizumi will be appointed to three-year terms and work with the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, Sascha Goetzel, 42, from Austria, during fiscal 2014.

Kawase, a Tokyo resident, won the top conducting prize at the 2006 Tokyo International Music Competition. He has worked with groups including the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Kanagawa orchestra for a while faced dissolution but averted an insolvency threat thanks to donations from fans and companies. It is currently aiming to convert its status to a public benefit entity.