T A I C H I F U K U M U R A
C O N D U C T O R
B I O G R A P H Y
A captivating figure on the podium, Japanese-American conductor Taichi Fukumura’s musical finesse and dynamic stage presence has resulted in a growing international career. Acclaimed for his passionate interpretations and collaborative leadership skills, he is praised by musicians and audiences alike across the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, and Japan. Founding Music Director of the Accompanietta Orchestra, Fukumura also serves as Director of Orchestras at Merit School of Music, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Northwestern Medical Orchestra, and Cover Conductor for the Chicago Philharmonic. Recognized for his initiatives in community engagement, Taichi Fukumura has been appointed by the Mayor and City Council to serve on Illinois’s Evanston Arts Council beginning June 2021. Fukumura is the recipient of the 2021 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award and a newly appointed 2021 Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Summer Opera.
Recent and upcoming season highlights include conducting Beethoven Symphony No. 5 with Orchestre Prométhée in the Paris Conducting Workshop with AJMADAC (France’s Association for Young Musicians and Development of Arts and Culture) and an invitation to compete in the Ferit Tüzün International Conducting Competition in Adana, Turkey: postponed by covid-19 to October 2021. In June 2021, Fukumura will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Japanese composers Toru Takemitsu, Yasushi Akutagawa, and Akira Miyoshi, with violinist Azusa Tashiro as soloist. In September 2021, he will assist Music Director Mei-Ann Chen and the Chicago Sinfonietta at the Ravinia Festival in a program featuring works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Arturo Marquez. As Assistant Conductor with the Chicago Summer Opera, he will assist in full productions of Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Handel’s Silla during the summer of 2021.
Prior engagements include guest conducting in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Community Chamber Concert Series, leading members of the BSO in three performances of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with narrator Michael Nock. An advocate for new and diverse music, as well as standard repertoire, Taichi Fukumura is equally at home on the operatic stage. As Staff Conductor at Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, the only youth orchestra in the country to present annual opera productions, he led rehearsals of many monumental works including Puccini’s La Boheme. He has led full productions of Britten’s Turn of the Screw as Music Director and conducted Mozart’s Don Giovanni as Assistant Conductor at the Northwestern University Opera Theatre.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Fukumura has helped to transform the local musical landscape in Chicago. As a second-year Project Inclusion Conducting Fellow with the Chicago Sinfonietta during the orchestra’s trail-blazing virtual season, he provided assistance in rehearsals as well as video direction through the recording process. As Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, he led the Northwestern Medical Orchestra to national recognition through several new initiatives, including helping to establish the first national consortium of medical orchestras. He guest conducted the National Virtual Medical Orchestra in music from the Ghibli Studio film Howl’s Moving Castle and worked with musicians and artists around the country to bring music to patients, families, and healthcare workers.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Taichi Fukumura grew up in Boston and began music studies at age three on the violin. Professionally trained on the instrument, he received a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Boston University (BU) where he studied with Peter Zazofsky and attended Royal College of Music in London as part of BU’s study abroad program. Switching his focus to conducting, Fukumura received his Master of Music in conducting from Northwestern University, where he is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting. Fukumura also served as an Emerging Conductor Fellow of the Peninsula Music Festival, assisting Music Director Victor Yampolsky. Following a season as Assistant Conductor for the Boston Civic Symphony, he was promoted to Associate Conductor, a position created specially for him. Additional conducting studies include the Pierre Monteux School and Festival with Michael Jinbo, and the Hong Kong International Conducting Workshops under Jorma Panula, Christoph Poppen, and Yip Wing-sie. Taichi Fukumura is fluent in English and Japanese.
Updated May 11, 2021