Conductor Keitaro Harada maintains a blossoming international presence throughout North America, Asia, Mexico, and Europe. He places high personal value on the advancement of each musician and ensemble he encounters, music’s contribution to a community’s greater cultural fabric and the ultimate realisation of a musical work through thoughtful study and collaborative performance. With ebullient charisma, proven artistic prowess and passion for excellence, Harada fulfills a broad scope of musical collaboration via opera, symphonic and chamber works, pops, film scores, ballet, educational and outreach programming and multi-disciplinary projects.
Harada’s credentials are exemplary. In his fourth season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, Harada regularly assisted Music Director Louis Langrée, conducted the CSO, POPS, and assisted James Conlon and Juanjo Mena for the May Festival. He is a three-time recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2016, 2015, 2014), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival and was a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival. In 2018 and 2016 he was invited by Valery Gergiev to serve on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival.
Harada’s most recent and upcoming symphonic guest engagements include debuts with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Siena Wind Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra and Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan. He returns to Siena Wind Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony and Tokyo Philharmonic this season. Recent USA debuts include Fort Worth Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony and Music in the Mountains Festival. Past seasons include concerts with Boise Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony and Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora (Mexico). This season, Keitaro returns to Indianapolis Symphony and Louisville Orchestra, leads The Nutcracker and world-première of Victoria for Northern Ballet and makes his first appearance with Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan.
On the opera podium, Harada conducted Song from the Uproar for Cincinnati Opera in 2017 and a run of Bizet’s Carmen for Bulgaria’s Sofia National Opera and Ballet that will reprise with a Japan tour of the same production later this autumn. In past seasons and as Associate Conductor of Arizona Opera, he led productions of Don Pasquale, The Daughter of the Regiment, Tosca and Carmen. As a 2010 Seiji Ozawa Fellow at Tanglewood, Harada conducted critically-acclaimed performances of Ariadne auf Naxos. In 2011 he made his professional opera-conducting debut leading Britten’s Turn of the Screw for North Carolina Opera, where he returns in January 2019 for Carmen.
From 2010 to 2014, Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organisation’s profile, expanded their season, and led the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a masterclass on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic. Additional career highlights include invitations to the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition and Sir Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in Germany and the first Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition in 2011. In 2012, he was a semi-finalist of the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. Harada held the position of Associate Conductor for Richmond Symphony from 2014 to 2016.
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Harada is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Mercer University. He was a James E. Rogers Institute for Orchestral and Opera Conducting Fellow at the 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 was featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top and as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on Keitoro’s bright career titled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013.