The 2018 Spring Conferment of Decoration of Japan was announced today (Sunday, April 29th), and Herbert Blomstedt, Honorary Conductor Laureate of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, will be awarded an Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon as a foreign national in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the enhancement of music culture of Japan.
Maestro Blomstedt first visited Japan in 1973 as a guest conductor of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Since his first collaboration with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in November 1981, when he conducted Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 Pathétique and other works, he has returned to the podium 23 times. In 1986, he became Honorary Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, he has also returned to Japan with European and American orchestras with which he has been closely associated, including the Gewandhausorchester, Leipzig, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks. He has a wide repertoire ranging from the Austro-German classic period to the Romantic period to outstanding works from the modern era.
In Meaestro Blomstedt’s own words, “Every time I come back, it is always a great pleasure to conduct the NHK Symphony Orchestra.” With these words, the decoration of Mr. Blomstedt brings us great joy and gives us all the more reason to celebrate.
Maestro Blomstedt, who turned 90 in July last year, remains highly motivated to give his audiences vibrant performances and to explore every possibility for new renditions of the works he will conduct, and he continues to take on new challenges, his first collaboration with the Wiener Philharmoniker in 2011 being but one example.
We hope that audience members will enjoy the reverberation of sounds created by the NHK Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Blomstedt.