Taichi Fukumura is a rising Japanese-American conductor acclaimed for his dynamic stage presence and musical finesse. Currently serving as the Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra appointed by Music Director Robert Spano, Fukumura is the Second Prize Winner of The Mahler Competition 2023 with the Bamberg Symphony and a three-time recipient of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Fukumura was recently named Music Director Finalist of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and is engaged to guest conduct the ISO on two programs in the 23/24 season. Other recent highlights include international guest conducting debut with the Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and guest assisting the Houston Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was also invited by the Berlin Philharmonic as one of 10 assistant conductor candidates for Kirill Petrenko and the Siemens Conductors Scholarship. Active as both conductor and assistant, Fukumura has worked with esteemed artists such as Edo de Waart, Juraj Valčuha, and Dame Jane Glover, as well as Thomas Hampson, Yefim Bronfman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham.
Past engagements include guest conducting members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in their Community Chamber Concert series, leading Stravinsky L’Histoire du Soldat. Fukumura served as the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta where he previously received mentorship from Music Director Mei-Ann Chen as a Freeman Conducting Fellow. Additionally, he worked closely with the Chicago Philharmonic as cover conductor, assisting Artistic Director Scott Speck and many guest artists.
Equally adept in opera conducting, Fukumura conducted full productions of Britten Turn of the Screw and Mozart Don Giovanni at the Northwestern University Opera Theatre. 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 La Boheme.
Fiercely advocating to bring people together around the spirit of live music, Fukumura is leading new initiatives with the Fort Worth Symphony and creating the first major update in their education and community programs in over a decade. An avid educator, he has previously served as Director of Orchestras at the Merit School of Music in Chicago and directed the endowed Northwestern Medical Orchestra to national acclaim within their first four years. Fukumura was appointed by the Mayor to the Evanston Arts Council for his cultural leadership and fresh perspectives, where he collaborated with local artists and arts organizations to enrich lives and amplify previously unheard voices.
Born in Tokyo, Taichi Fukumura was raised 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, studying with Peter Zazofsky. Fukumura received both his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University, studying with Victor Yampolsky. Additional conducting studies include the Aspen Music Festival conducting fellowship with Robert Spano, mentorship in Paris with Pierre-Michel Durand and l’Orchestre Prométhée, the Hong Kong International Conducting Workshops with Jorma Panula, Christoph Poppen, and Yip Wing-sie, and the Pierre Monteux School and Festival with the late Michael Jinbo. Taichi Fukumura is fluent in English and Japanese.
Updated July 26, 2023