AZO Cast Members & Creatives
Conductor Keitaro Harada continues to be recognized at the highest levels for his artistic abilities and passion for musical excellence. As a recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2014 and 2015), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival, Harada’s credentials are exemplary.
Currently in his first season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, Harada regularly assists Music Director Louis Langrée and conducts the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, and World Piano Competition, as well as assists James Conlon for the May Festival. Keitaro also holds the positions of Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera and Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony.
With a growing schedule as a guest conductor, the coming season holds several high profile engagements for Keitaro. He starts the summer at the 2016 Pacific Music Festival by invitation of Valery Gergiev, makes his conducting debut with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in the fall, and leads the world premiere performances of Riders of the Purple Sage for Arizona Opera in 2017. He also makes his conducting debut with Boise Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony and South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
Most recently, Harada made his conducting debut in Japan with the New Japan Philharmonic in a sold out performance as well as his debut with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He led performances of Carmen for Arizona Opera and conducted concerts with Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora.
In 2013, Harada was selected by the League of American Orchestras as one of only six conductors for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, a prestigious showcase that occurs biennially in an effort to promote gifted, emerging conductors to orchestra industry leaders. In 2012, Harada was a semi-finalist at the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. In 2011, Harada was one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition and he made his professional opera conducting debut with North Carolina Opera.
Early in his career, Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization’s profile, expanded their season; added challenging repertoire, and took the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic.
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Harada is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Mercer University. He completed his formal conducting training at University of Arizona with Thomas Cockrell and Charles Bontrager. He has also studied under Christoph von Dohnányi, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Herbert Blomstedt, Vladimir Ponkin, Adrian Gnam and Stefan Asbury. Harada champions creative programming, development of the orchestra as a part of a community’s cultural fabric, advancement of each musician he encounters, and responsibility as an artistic and civic leader.
Very early in his career, he was selected as a guest artist for National Public Radio’s From the Top and is featured as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on the bright career of Keitaro titled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013.