Hirofumi Yoshida (Japan)

Was born in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1968. He spent his childhood in Funabashi. He earned a Bachelor's Degree at Tokyo College of Music, where he specialised in conducting, piano, double bass and musicology.

From 1994 to 1995 he moved to Vienna and obtained a Master Degree at Universitat fur Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (Vienna National University of Music). In 1996, he took another Master course at the Chigiana Musical Academy in Siena, Italy, with Yuri Temirkanov e Myung-Whun Chung. In August, he attended "Master Players" Conducting course in Lugano, Italy, and won the 19th edition of "Master Players" International Conducting Competition.

In 1999 Yoshida was selected as a trainee under the overseas study programme for upcoming artists of the Agency for Cultural Affairs and carried out his studies in Munich and Mannheim, Germany, and Malmo, Sweden.

In 2001 he passed the "Maazel/Vilar" Conductor's Competition pre-selection process as Asian nominee. In 2002, Hirofumi Yoshida was awarded the Most Promising Young Talent Prize in the Opera Division of Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award. He was the first conductor in history to receive this award, which convinced him to pursue further studies in Rome.

In 2003 he was selected as special researcher to be granted financial support for overseas music activities from "Rohm Music Foundation".

In 2005 Yoshida won 3rd prize at the 1st International Opera Conducting Competition in memoriam Bela Bartok, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. After that, he made his debut with the Transylvania Symphony Orchestra in Romania and MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, Hungary. He also conducted Cavalleria Rusticana and Rigoletto with the ensemble members of Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and made his debut in Italy.

In April 2006 he conducted Serata Nijinsky-Balanchin at Teatro Verdi in Trieste with the Rome Opera Ballet, which was under the direction of Carla Fracci.

In 2007 Hirofumi Yoshida directed Pagliacci at Terme di Caracalla, Italy, during the Summer Season of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. It was the first time that a Japanese conductor performed in Teatro dell’Opera in its 130 years of history.

In 2008 Maestro Yoshida was the first Japanese conductor directing Aida at Cairo Opera House, Egypt. Given the high success of the performance, the Cairo Opera House invited Yoshida to conduct Madama Butterfly in 2009.

In the 2008 season Maestro Yoshida conducted La Traviata in Paris, Le Nozze di Figaro in Japan and Don Carlos in Hong Kong. In 2009, he conducted L'Elisir d'Amore with the orchestra of Naples's Teatro di San Carlo. In the same year, he directed the orchestra of Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily, and Turandot at Marrucino Theater in Chieti, Italy.

In January 2010 Maestro Yoshida was appointed as Music Director of Mantua Opera House (Teatro Sociale of Mantua). During the 2010 season he performed Verdi's masterpiece Rigoletto in different theatres in Italy: Teatro Sociale of Mantua, Teatro Donizetti of Bergamo, Teatro Giglio of Lucca, Marialisa de Carolis Theater of Sassari. He made his debut at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Tuscany, where he conducted Turandot. He is the first Japanese conductor to have ever conducted Puccini's work at the Puccini Festival. On this occasion, Simonetta Puccini, granddaughter of Maestro Giacomo Puccini, praised Yoshida for his music and conducting. In the same year, Yoshida made his debut at the Latvian National Opera with La traviata.

In 2011 he conducted Madama Butterfly at "Japan Festival" in Novara, Italy. The event was organised from the local authorities in collaboration with the embassy of Japan. On this occasion he conducted a Mozart's Requiem in memory of the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In July 2011 Yoshida conducted the orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice of Genoa.

In 2012 Teatro Vittorio Emanuele II of Messina, Sicily, invites Maestro Yoshida to conduct Puccini's La Rondine. In the same year he conducted La sonnambula with the prestigious orchestra of Teatro Lirico of Cagliari.

In March 2013, maestro Yoshida conducts Rigoletto at al Teatro Vittorio Emanuele II of Messina on the occasion of 200 years from Giuseppe Verdi's birth. In July 2013 the Bologna Opera House (Teatro Comunale of Bologna) invited Yoshida on the occasion of its 250th anniversary to conduct two Baroque opera programmes composed by Padre Martini: Il maestro di musica and Il Don Chisciotte. In October 2013 Maestro Yoshida conducted the same production at Kyoto Opera Festival, which is organised with the support of the Japanese government and whose Artistic Director is the same Hirofumi Yoshida. One of the recitals took place in Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, which is UNESCO World Heritage site. It was the first time in Japan (Yokohama and Kyoto). It was the first time in the 1400 years of history of the temple that an opera performance was held in there. In the same year, Maestro Yoshida is awarded he was awarded the "Enrico Caruso" International Prize, which is conferred to Non-Italians who have made a great contribution to promoting Opera in Italy.

In February 2014 Hirofumi Yoshida has been appointed Artistic Director of the Bologna Opera House Philharmonic Orchestra (Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, FTCB). On his debut concert Yoshida conducted Brahms's Violin Concerto in D major with Baiba Skride as soloist and Mozart's Symphony no. 41 Jupiter. During Kyoto Opera Festival 2014, in Semptember, he conducted two performances of Puccini's Madama Butterfly at World Heritage site Nijo castle in Kyoto, which was the last residence of the shogun.

In February 2015 Hirofumi Yoshida conducted eight performances of Madama Butterfly at Bologna Opera House. In May-June 2015 he conducted 6 performances of Don Pasquale at Teatro Verdi in Trieste. In July 2015 he has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Bologna Opera House. During Kyoto Opera Festival 2015, in Semptember, he conducted four performances of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci in Kyoto, in Tokyo and at World Heritage site Himeji castle in Himeji.

To celebrate the New Year, on 1st January 2016 Hirofumi Yoshida conducted the first New Year's Concert in the history of Bologna. The event took place at Teatro Auditorium Manzoni with the presence of the Bologna Opera House Philharmonic Orchestra. Between May and June 2016 he conducted six performances of Le Nozze di Figaro at Teatro Comunale di Bologna. During Japan Opera Festival 2016, in September, he conducted two performances of Puccini’s Turandot in Nara, at World Heritage site Heijo Imperial Palace.

At present Hirofumi Yoshida is special-appointment professor at Toho College of Music, in Japan.

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