Igor Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale" remains as thought-provoking a piece today as it was in 1918, when it was created just after World War I.

As the third part of a Stravinsky-focused series by the Spring Festival in Tokyo (following "The Firebird" and "Petrushka" in 2012, and "Apollon" and "The Rite of Spring" in 2013), the Russian composer's theatrical masterpiece provided local audiences with a rare opportunity to attend a performance by New York-based Japanese conductor Shoichi Kubota on March 16 at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall in Ueno Park.

Kubota, 32, won the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's first International Sir George Solti Conducting Competition in 2011, against more than 200 young applicants from 40 different countries. As part of the award he received a two-season apprenticeship from 2011 to 2013, studying with Italian maestro Riccardo Muti, who is serving as the orchestra's music director.