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Belgium’s Brussels Philharmonic Announces Next Music Director 

Japanese conductor Kazushi Ono will assume the role, effective as of the 2022-23 concert season


Ono will succeed Stéphane Denève in the position, who was first appointed in 2015 and will conduct his final concert with the Brussels Philharmonic in June 2022.

Ono served as music director of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (TMSO) and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC) — and as artistic director of the New National Theatre Tokyo (NNTT). 

With NNTT, he started their first commissioning initiative dedicated to Japanese composers. In 2017, he commissioned Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Hibiki,” which premiered at Japan’s Suntory Hall before being featured at the 2017 BBC Proms.

His conducting engagements have included London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Seoul Philharmonic, and Houston Symphony Orchestra.

From 2008 to 2017, Ono served as principal conductor of Opéra National de Lyon. Operatic highlights include Arthur Honegger’s “Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher,” the 2017 premiere of Arnulf Hermann’s “Der Mieter” at the Frankfurt Opera, and Prokofiev’s “The Fiery Angel” in Warsaw and the Aix Festival.

In 2015, Ono was presented the Asahi Prize for his contribution to the progress of Japanese society and two years later, he was awarded “Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French cultural minister Françoise Nyssen.

“I am thrilled to accept the position of music director of the Brussels Philharmonic,” siad Ono. “Our first encounter early this year was a real pleasure, I could feel that we have chemistry and that we share the same musical values,” he continued. 

“In my role as music director I will try to construct a broad base in my programming, with repertoire ranging from classical through to the music of today,” he added. “As we develop our relationship, we will open many doors and create a different world inside each one.”

“As I have decided to concentrate now on my new position in America as music director of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, I am extremely happy to know that the musicians of the Brussels Philharmonic will soon be in the excellent hands of Maestro Kazushi Ono, who I admire and respect deeply,” said predecessor Stéphane Denève. “I wish them all the best for the future together.”

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