Kazuki Yamada
Kazuki Yamada © Marco BorggreveArtist

"The young man is full of music from head to toe"

Thüringer Landeszeitung
24 / 24


Kazuki Yamada is Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. In Japan he holds further titles of Principal Guest Conductor of Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (from January 2019), Permanent Conductor of Japan Philharmonic, Music Director and Chairman of The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo as well as Music Director of Yokohama Sinfonietta, an ensemble he founded whilst still a student.


Yamada appears as a guest with such orchestras as Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Dresden, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Philharmonia Orchestra and Tonkünstler-Orchester at the Vienna Musikverein. Soloists with whom he is working include Emmanuel Ax, Boris Berezovsky, Håkan Hardenberger, Nobuko Imai, Daishin Kashimoto, Alexander Kniazev, Xavier de Maistre, Steven Osborne, Vadim Repin, Baiba Skride, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Simon Trpčeski and Frank Peter Zimmermann.

In the current season, alongside his weeks in Monte Carlo and Japan, Kazuki Yamada returns to City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and two weeks with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino. He will debut with MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig and Seattle Symphony.

He is active in the field of opera and appears with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra conducting ‘Rusalka’ at Nissay Theatre in autumn 2017. Additionally, he performs ‘La Traviata’ and ‘Carmen’ in Japan in coming seasons. He will also tour with Komische Oper Berlin for performances of ‘Die Zauberflöte’ in Japan in spring 2018. He is strongly supported by Seiji Ozawa. In August 2012 he conducted a semi-staged production of Honegger’s ‘Jeanne d’Arc’, with Saito-Kinen Orchestra; a project that was also a huge success in spring 2015 in Côme de Bellescize’s staged version at the Philharmonie de Paris, with Orchestre de Paris under Yamada.

Committed to music education, Yamada appears as guest artist every summer with the students at the Seiji Ozawa International Academy in Switzerland.

Yamada was Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestre de la Suisse Romande 2010-2017 and together they have been releasing a series of CDs inspired by dance, on the Pentatone label. The most recent has been a recording of French ballet works, and another of works by Manuel de Falla. Yamada is also Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus’ Music Director who have released ten CDs on Fontec.

Now resident in Berlin,Yamada was born in Kanagawa, Japan, in 1979. In 2009 he was the winner of the 51st Besancon International Competition for young conductors.  

SEASON 2017/2018


“The OSR plays scintillatingly under Kazuki Yamada.”

The Sunday Times, Stephen Pettitt, 09.10.16

“The playing on this disc from the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is simply superb: alert, precise strings, scampering woodwind and sparkling brass bring real energy to Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane ballet suite which comes surging through the speakers in a tumultuous reading from Kazuki Yamada.”

The Guardian, Stephen Pritchard, 09.10.16

“The conductor evidently had a clear sense of how he wanted each moment to sound and how to communicate his vision effectively and encouragingly to the Philharmonia players. More impressive even than this meticulousness and assurance, though, was Yamada’s sure sense of Tchaikovsky’s grand ‘paragraphs’ and the way the tension between them drives the score onwards.”

Music Web International, Claire Seymour, 08.04.16

“The “serious” core of the concert came in the second half with the Saint-Saëns and a real tribute to the clarity of Yamada’s vision and to WASO’s ability to translate that vision so palpably into a gripping performance.”

Limelight Magazine, Will Yeoman, 16.03.16

“In Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Yamada focussed on the timbre, gave a colourful performance and evoked a fairy-tale like atmosphere. […] A concert to be remembered.”

Musicofilia, 04.15

“Kazuki Yamada, revealed in Toulouse by an exciting version of the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz in 2012, is the man for the job. His baton, both flexible and precise, attempts to restore all aspects of the work, its beauty and (sometimes daring) musical, dramatic intense climate.”

Toulouse, Anne-Marie Chouchan, 16.02.15

“The Suisse Romande Orchestra and their gifted principal guest conductor, Kazuki Yamada, whip us round the European dance floor with music that is highly coloured, voluptuous, decadent – and generally, hugely enjoyable.”

International Record Review, Geoff Brown, 11.14

“Kazuki Yamada, the OSR's dynamic young Principal Guest Conductor, draws playing of felicitous polish, captivating flexibility and winning application throughout what is a most imaginative, distinctly moreish programme.”

Gramophone, Andrew Achenbach, 09.14

“Yamada displays an interpretative nous, strength of personality and scrupulous attention to detail that are singularly impressive.”

Gramophone, Andrew Achenbach, 07.14

“The Japanese conductor, born in 1979, unfolds the emotional storm with absolute control. There was no unusual choreography and it was clear from his every gesture that this was a man who has an in-depth knowledge of the score who knows exactly how to shape the escalations and eruptions.”

Der Tagesspiegel, Frederik Hanssen, 05.05.13

Go back


Russian DancesRUSSIAN DANCES Tchaikovsky Suite from Swan Lake / Glazunov 2 Concert Waltzes / Shostakovich The Golden Age / Stravinsky Circus PolkaMar. 2016, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Dance Music Vol. 2Kazuki Yamada conducts "Dancemusic" of Strauss, Liszt, Korngold, Busoni and Schreker.May. 2014, Pentatone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Bizet - l'ArlésienneThe Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with works by French composersJan. 2014, PentaTone, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Yamada and the Czech PhilharmonicYoung Japanese Kazuki Yamada and the Czech Philharmonic present an all-Russian program including works by Kalinnikov, Glazunov, and Khachaturian.Aug. 2013, Exton, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Canat De Chizy: Orchestral WorksKazuki Yamada conducts the BBC Symphony OrchestraJun. 2011, Aeon, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
WingsA disc of songs for Mixed ChorusDec. 2010, Octavia Records, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon