The Singaporean music director of the Nuremburg Symphony has landed a principal guest title with the Japan Philharmonic.
Wong, 34, is a winner of the Mahler Conducting Competition.
He says: ‘I am still quite overwhelmed by this beautiful piece of news.
Japan is one of the meccas of Western classical music in the world. World-class icons include the Suzuki method, Yamaha and Suntory Hall. Every Sunday morning, there is a classical music programme for children. In fact, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra made the world’s first stereo recording with their founding Chief Conductor Akeo Watanabe back in 1962 with a full Sibelius symphony cycle.
Up to date, they have already commissioned 42 works from composers such as Toru Takemitsu, Yasushi Akutagawa and Toshio Hosokawa. They are committed to championing their composers. I like that very much. As an Asian myself, I look forward to my upcoming research on these musical works and to include them in my future performances.
In addition, in the 10 years following the devastating Tohoku Earthquake of 2011, the orchestra has held 263 performances and musical workshops in the affected areas of the Northeast region to give strength on a human-to-human level, and to help with reconstruction efforts. In a very shokunin way, their projects demonstrate genuine dedication and refinement of the human spirit. It moves me immensely. I have been working with Child at Street 11 over the past few years for my Project Infinitude, and I know first-hand how challenging it is to commit oneself to uplifting the human spirit through music. I feel so proud to be connected with the Japan Philharmonic.’