Tokyo College of Music celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2007. The oldest private music institute in Japan, TCM has been contributing significantly to the development of Western classical music at home. It created the very first symphonic orchestra in Japan which performed on Pacific Ocean steamers from 1912 to 1929. Over the years, Tokyo College of Music has taken great strides in strengthening its faculty and staff as well as expanding the facilities of the school. Now the college boasts a highly qualified and distinguished faculty of more than 440 with the entire student body, under the umbrella of Tokyo College of Music, of over 2000 students. This includes some 1,500 undergraduates, 130 postgraduates, 220 high school students, 80 kindergarteners, and 100 Music Preparatory School students. The College’s facilities include an 806-seat 100th anniversary Hall, B-studio with a baroque style pipe organ, J-studio, Synthesizer Lab, recording studio, Traditional Japanese Music House, Gamelan Performance Studio,labrary and practice rooms.
The Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra has a long tradition and excellent
reputation both nationally and internationally. Each year it holds concerts at the Tokyo
Metropolitan Art Space and benefit concerts for UNICEF. Internationally it has performed in
over 30 cities in Europe, the U.S.A. and China.
In 1993, the orchestra went on tour to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. The Washington Post and many other local newspapers praised their performances of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor with the master cellist Janos Starker and under the baton of maestro Junichi Hirokami, a college alumnus. The Washington Post described maestro Hirokami as a young conductor “who finished the evening with a lucid, animated and deeply interpreted reading.” The orchestra had previously received a letter of encouragement from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan before their departure. The college donated half of the total amount of ticket sales to UNICEF and the other half back to each performance venue.
The orchestra has also appeared at the Music Festival Argerich’s Meeting Point 2006 in Japan, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and No. 2, as well as Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. They received great praise from the festival’s director Martha Argerich, the cellist Mischa Maisky, the pianist Stephen Kovacevich, and the conductor Tatsuya Shimono.
Three years later, in 2009, the orchestra went on a 16-day benefit concert tour of Munich, Prague, Bamberg, and Vienna. The audience’s were in disbelief that the orchestra was comprised of only college students. They commented that the music was truly professional
with the orchestra having received standing ovations from the Viennese audience at the Musikverein Zaal. Proceeds from each concert were donated to the SOS Children’s Villages (SOS-Kinderdore.V.) in Munich and Bamberg, the Stiftung der Eheleute Livia und Vaclav Klaus in Prague, and St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung in Vienna.
In the following year, with maestro Myung-Whun Chung at the baton, the Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra performed Rigoletto receiving high praise from the maestro and leading music magazines in Japan. From March 22, 2012, the orchestra made a benefit concert tour to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria.
TCM Symphony Orchestra & Symphonic Wind Ensemble made the following overseas tours:
1978, 70th Anniversary Goodwill Concert Tour to USA- Los Angeles &
Sacramento/ California, Temple/ Arizona, and Coverllis/ Oregon.
(Conductor: Tadashi Mori)
1979, Goodwill Concert Tour to China-Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.
(Conductor: Tadashi Mori)
1981, Concert Tour to East and West Germany- Karl-Marx-
Stadt, Gera, East Berlin, and Bonn. (Conductor: Tadashi Mori)
1983, Concert Tour to Austria & Hungary-Vienna, Linz, Budapest, and
Debrecen (Conductor: Tadashi Mori)
1984, Concert Tour to East and West Germany-Staßfurt and East&
West Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Jena, Weimar, and Hoyerswerda.
(Conductor: Olaf Koch)
1993, Concert Tour to U.S.A.-Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.
(Conductor: Junichi Hirokami)
2009, Concert Tour to Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria-Munich,
Prague, Bamberg, and Vienna.
2012, Concert Tour to Teplice & Prague in the Czech Republic, Budapest
in Hungary, and Graz in Austria.
Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra past performances venues:
The Palace of Arts, Budapest
Musikverein Saal, Vienna
The Franz Liszt Academy of Music(Zeneakademia), Budapest
Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin
Smetana Hall, Prague
Symphony Hall, Chicago
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C.
Carnegie Hall, New York
Regis Hall, Beijing
Hangzhou Theater, Hangzhou
The Former Residence of Chen Yun and Qingpu Revolutionary History Memorial Hall, Shanghai
The Tokyo College of Music Chorus has been actively performing with professional orchestras both nationally and internationally. With the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, TCM Chorus has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in d-minor, “Choral” every year since 1979. Other pieces performed under this collaboration include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (Symphonie de psaumes)(conductor: Junichi Hirokami), Mozart’s The Great Mass in c-minor (Große Messe in c-Moll) (conductor: Alexander Lazarev), and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (conductor: Kenichiro Kobayashi). With the NHK Symphony Orchestra, they have performed Mendelssohn’s, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Ein Sommernachtstraum), (conductor: Jun Märkl) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 c-minor. “Resurrection” (Auferstehung）(conductor: Markus Stenz). Its performance of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung under the baton of Junichi Hirokami had an honor to be chosen to be the second most memorable performance of all NHK Symphony Orchestra’s concerts during the year, 2005.
In 1988 the TCM Chorus made its European debut at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Zeneakademia) in Budapest, performing G. Verdi’s Requiem. The chorus also performed G. Faure’s Requiem at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on the same tour. In 1998 the chorus collaborated with the Netherlands Philharmonic, performing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at Concertgebouw and at Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht.
Established in 1970, the Tokyo College of Music Wind Ensemble has been performing for
mare than 40 years, both inside Japan and abroad. It holds concerts annually at many
main halls in Tokyo including Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo
Cultural Center)and Orchard Hall, to name a few. It attracts audiences with its vibrant and
dynamic performances of symphonic wind literature.
The ensemble has presented concerts and performed at festivals in over 30 cities across Japan. It has also played goodwill tours in the U.S.A. (1978) and China (1979) that were followed by European concert tours of the former nations West and East Germany (1981)
and Austria-Hungary (1983). For its contributions to cultural exchanges and friendly relations to other nations the college received a letter of appreciation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1994. In 2011, the ensemble had a very successful tour Taiwan,
earning much respect among music schools and musicians in the country.
The TCM Symphonic Wind Ensemble has a long recording history and is included on the historical compilation recording, “A 150 Year History of Japan Since the Black Ships Band”, which may be found on King Record srecords.
TCM Professor Emeritus and violist Toshiyuki Uzuka launched String Ensemble Endless in 1990, offering a great opportunity to perform in a string ensemble outside of school. Since then, Endless performs annually at various music venues in Tokyo such as Tsuda Hall, Suntory Hall (Blue Rose), Casals Hall, and Toppan Hall, garnering critical acclaim in each performance. Its repertoire spans from classical to contemporary with music by Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Respighi, Bloch, Yasushi Akutagawa, and Toru Takemitsu. The ensemble has recorded with Somei Sato on the CD Toward the Night, hitting the music charts in London.
Student Honors and Awards
European International Piano Concours in Japan
Tokyo College of Music encourages students to enter competitions. Our entire family wins more than 100 prizes at home and abroad every year.
TCM students have won:
European International Piano Concours in Japan
The Italy Percussion Competition in Fermo (Italy)
The International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition
Concours de melodies françaisces et japonaises
Concorso Vocale Italo-Giapponese
Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition
Maria Canals International Music Competition
Geneva International Music Competition
Gian Battista Viotti International Music Competition
International Tchaikovsky Competition
Clara Haskil International Piano Competition
International F. Liszt Piano Competition
Montreal International Musical Competition
The Leeds International Pianoforte Competition
Bartok International Piano Competition
The International Gaudeamus Composition Competition
International Kirill Kondrasin Competition
International Sibelius Conductors' Competition
Debussy International Music Competition
Premio Valentino Bucchi International Music Competition(Composition)
The International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen
Luxemburg International Percussion Competition
The International Chopin Piano Competition in USA
Elena Richter Interlational Piano Conpertition in ASIA
The Viotti Internatoinal Music Competition
"Antonio Pedrotti” International Conducting Competition
International Johannes Brahms Competition
Hong Kong International Piano Competition
International Piano Contest “San Nicola di Bari”
Tokyo Music Competition
Kobe International Flute Competition (KIFC)
Student Music Concours of Japan
Music Competition of Japan
Japan Wind and Percussion Competition
International Music Competition of Japan
Hamamatsu International Piano Competition
PTNA Piano Competition
Sendai International Music Competition
Tokyo International Guitar Competition
Idemitsu Music Award
The college holds its own competition and prize, Tokyo College or Music Competition (2011 for Strings/Wind and Percussion majors and 2012 for Piano/Vocal) and The Tokyo College of Music President prize for students majoring in Composition(Fine Art).
Tokyo College of Music is in the heart of Tokyo with easy access to main Concert Halls, which promises your life very music friendly one.
From the college,
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, 15 minutes on foot
Toppan Hall, 20 minutes by subway
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, 25 minutes by train
Suntory Hall, 30 minutes by subway