Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras Summit
5 - 7 Oct. 2016
Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall
The objectives of the Association are to encourage cooperation among Japanese professional orchestras, to conduct researches and studies on orchestra management, to provide training for those who are associated with orchestral music, and to promote and popularize the orchestral music through international exchange in order to contribute to the development of Japanese musical culture.
The Association shall conduct the following activities in order to achieve the said objectives.
- Present concerts of orchestral music and related lectures
- Promote orchestral music to young people
- Conduct researches and studies on professional orchestra management
- Provide training for personnel associated with orchestral music
- International exchange on orchestral music
- Other activities necessary to achieve the objectives
* Excerpts from the bylaws of the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras
The history of the orchestra in Japan goes back to the Meiji period when the nation started to absorb the western culture and has been inherited by passionate and hardworking followers. Thanks to them, we now have 34 professional orchestras that give more than 3,800 performances annually.
After the World War II, as the society tried to regain its composure, the time was ripe for Japan to restart as a cultural nation. Professional orchestras were born one after another throughout Japan. The Agency for Cultural Affairs was set up anew under the Ministry of Education and Culture and began supporting professional orchestras’ programs. Naturally, orchestras in Tokyo and elsewhere alike became even more active.
In 1964, “Tokyo Orchestra Club” was formed in Tokyo. Reorganized in 1968, “Japanese Symphony Orchestras Liaison Conference” offered opportunities to share ideas on various issues related to orchestral administration. As for orchestras outside of Tokyo, “Association of Regional Orchestras” was founded in 1972. The two institutions’ relationship deepened. In a joint meeting in 1989, the formation of “National Orchestral Association” was unanimously approved. In July 1990, “Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras” started as a private organization with Hiroshi Nagaoka as Chairman of the Board and officials from 18 orchestras as Director.
The Association conducted the research and study on professional orchestra administration, offered the education for those associated with orchestral music and opportunities for international exchange, and arranged other highly universal programs. In recognition of the achievement of such activities, the Association was approved as aggregate corporation by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Agency for Cultural Affairs) on January 31, 1995.
In November 1997, the Association hosted “Orchestra Summit in Japan”, the first-ever international conference for orchestra administrators in Asia. It further arranged seminars on arts management and a series of workshops searching for new music education possibilities. In 2000 – 2010, it presented “Evening of Contemporary Orchestral Masterpieces of Japan” every year. The Association was assigned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to produce “Asia Orchestra Week”, inviting orchestras from the Asia-Pacific region. It articulates the importance of classical music in modern society and actively continues to work for its development and expansion.
The Association has a membership of 34 orchestras under the category of either full member or associate member.
Full membership is open to
- Orchestras registered as aggregate corporation, foundation or nonprofit organization.
- Full orchestras with double winds and brass or more that pay a fixed salary to the musicians.
- Orchestras that give more than ten self-produced concerts including five or more subscription concerts annually.
- Orchestras equipped with a body overseeing the administration.
- Orchestras recommended by a full member(s).
The steering committee and the board of directors will see if the orchestra fulfills the above requirements and if its achievement is suitable for full membership. The final decision is made at the general meeting.
Associate membership is open to
- Professional orchestras that have existed for more than two years, giving more than 30 concerts including subscription concerts annually.
- Orchestras whose key musicians are not employed by other orchestras.
- Full orchestras with double or more winds and brass. 50% or more musicians are employed permanently.
- Orchestras that have an administrative body with a librarian(s) and stage staff.
The steering committee and the board of directors will see if the orchestra fulfills the above requirements . The final decision is made at the general meeting.