The orchestra that is run for profit

The orchestra that is run for profit


norman lebrecht

April 29, 2022

From Bloomberg:

(Kyohei) Sorita, 27, founded Japan National Orchestra Co. just a year ago, during the pandemic. He’s planning to take the orchestra to perform overseas later in 2022. As an entrepreneur and musician, Sorita sees the for-profit endeavor as a way to nurture talent and promote wider appreciation for Mozart, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

Read on here.


  • drummerman says:

    As my mother, may she rest in peace, used to say: “It’s a good idea but there’s no sense to it.” What makes this guy think there will be a burning desire from people anxious to hear this group, when there are so many orchestras already out there?

    • Ludo Kanta says:

      I play with Mr.Sorita sometimes,also in his orchestra.His concerts tend to be sold out long in advance.He is most wonderful pianist&musician,but his business sense has something to do with it too,I suspect.

      And you have to listen to this orchestra once,I am sure it makes you to come again,with family and friends …

    • Herr Forkenspoon says:

      Because, yo mama aside, there are many people who like to see others succeed and will lend a hand and money to make that happen. It’s not only about the orchestra. If you didn’t, read the whole article.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    An orchestra run for profit? Too funny.

    Q: How do you make a small fortune in the orchestra business?

    A: Start with a large one.

    • Herr Forkenspoon says:

      He’s already operating in the black. Reread the article. With an attitude like yours, nothing would ever change.

  • Bob Shair says:

    I believe André Rieu makes it pay. Best of luck to Sorita!

  • Steve Proser says:

    I wish Mr. Sorita much success. However, if you look at his website, you will see that there only seem to be 19 musicians on the roster. At least some of the concert repertoire listed is chamber music. At this point the Japan National Orchestra seems to barely be a chamber orchestra. If he can turn it into a full orchestra that can play a varied repertoire without resorting to kitsch, and also turn a profit, my hat will be off to him.


    Didn’t Mozart write for money, and perform for money? Wasn’t Haydn the rage of London because his concerts sold out? Wasn’t Puccini box office gold? Verdi, too? Richard Strauss?
    I may not think all that well of John Williams as a composer or conductor, but I know that his financial success doesn’t depend on charity.

  • J at Large says:

    I wish Sorita-san every success with this but, when the London Symphony tells you on their homepage that even a full house at a concert will NOT cover their costs that particular night. If an orchestra of their standing can’t pull that off, you have to wonder how he will. Is he going to limit his repertoire only to what will sell? Answers on a postcard…

    • bgn says:

      Not just “what will sell” but “what we can get away with playing without breaking the bank.” Mahler symphonies and Strauss tone-poems will (probably) sell tickets, but will the box-office receipts from then be enough to pay the lots and lots of musicians those works call for?

      Look at Broadway. Broadway orchestras and choruses have been getting inexorably smaller and smaller since the days of Rodgers & Hammerstein. R. & H. could field (and expect!) both a full-size singing chorus and a dancing chorus, not to mention a decent-size pit orchestra of at least 40 players. Nowadays, you’re lucky if new shows get an orchestra of twenty and a backup ensemble of triple threats of less than that. And Broadway is as much a commercial enterprise as Sorita’s orchestra aspires to be.

  • TI says:

    There isn’t much coverage in English but in the Japanese media, enthusiasm is high.

    Sorita and DMG Mori also have the city of Nara on board as a cultural partner and that’s where the orchestra will be based. They will have rehearsal and other facilities there.

    Yes. it’s chamber sized but they can get more (contract) players for one-off concerts but it sounds pretty good already. They could easily do a series of Mozart or Beethoven concerti with Kyohei conducting from the keybaord (he’s already done that a few times e.g. K453 and Chopin 1) and he’s not afraid to call in assistance from his friends such as Yutaka Sado under whose baton he performed the Rach 3.

    It’s an ambitious goal but he has the wind behind him. In a framework that remains resolutely traditional and a bit moribund, this is an exciting development for Japanese classical music and musical education in Japan if he can succeed. Gambatte, Kyohei-san !