This is how orchestral music is born. Pay attention to the Kanagawa Philharmonic and the staff who support the music!

オーケストラの音楽はこうして生まれる 神奈川フィルと音楽を支えるスタッフ・パワーに注目!

In response to requests for self-restraint during the coronavirus pandemic, the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra (hereinafter referred to as the Kanagawa Philharmonic) has been forced to cancel regular concerts, etc. There are many people who have felt lonely without being able to experience live music.
But it's okay, the Kanagawa Philharmonic and the music are fine!
Concerts are gradually resuming since verification of the effectiveness of infection prevention measures and the formulation of prevention guidelines have been completed. Seeing the various efforts being made to reopen, I'm sure many of you have come to realize that orchestral music is supported by the power of many different people.
So this time, we visited the rehearsal venue of the Kanagawa Philharmonic and interviewed the staff who support the wonderful sound.

We visited Kanagawa Art Hall located in Hodogaya Prefectural Park. On this day, rehearsals were being held for the regular concert, which had been resumed with some changes in performers and program.
First, we started by setting up the stage according to the orchestra composition. The hall is designed to be used for a wide range of practices and performances, including music, theater, and dance.The stage can be divided into three sections, and each stage can be adjusted to four different heights, making setup very easy.

The stage settings affect the orchestra's "sound," so be sure to place the chairs carefully. Especially now, as we are setting the distance between players wider to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, we are carefully setting the settings while measuring with a scale.

Each player has a different preference for height and angle of the music stand, so carefully adjust each music stand one by one. It's amazing how each member's preferences are almost in their minds!

Rehearsal settings have been completed, using a wide area up to the front of the audience seats in the hall. Even though the work was done in the familiar art hall, it was amazing that it was all set up in less than an hour.

It seems that setting up the stage is the job of a "stage manager", but who is that...?
We spoke with Atsuyuki Terakado, the stage manager of the Kanagawa Philharmonic.

What kind of work is a stage manager?

In short, it is "everything other than the performance on stage." My job is to create an environment at concerts where players can concentrate on their performance without stress, so my specific duties are wide-ranging.

First, once the program for the concert has been decided, we check the arrangement of the instruments and think about the arrangement of the instruments and their placement on the stage. When we perform classical music at the home of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra like we did today, there is almost a flow to it, but when it is our first time at a venue, we draw up a layout plan while meeting with the person in charge, and we also take care of the loading and unloading of instruments and equipment. It is necessary to decide one by one. If the Kanagawa Philharmonic Philharmonic needs an instrument that it doesn't have, we will arrange for it to be rented, but in contemporary music sometimes an instrument comes up that makes you wonder, "What is this?" (lol).
If the arrangement changes for each song, check the movement of instruments and chairs during the rehearsal and decide on a plan to proceed smoothly and safely. Furthermore, if something happens (such as an earthquake!), we have to respond quickly, so we can't take our eyes off the stage during the performance.

Does the stage setting change a lot?

Of course, the instrumentation will differ depending on the song, but even for the same song, the arrangement will change depending on the size of the venue and the conductor, so it is important to have a proper discussion, especially if this is your first meeting. While looking at the balance of resonance and ease of listening, we sometimes make adjustments to achieve the best condition for the actual performance, and we also decide on the overall placement based on the requests of soloists who specify their standing position and say, ``This is where I want to perform.'' Sometimes. Perhaps the fun part of this job is being able to feel the changes in sound caused by such settings.

What does Mr. Terakado feel is the “attractiveness of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra”?

I have been associated with the Kanagawa Philharmonic for about 20 years, and I feel that it is an organization where the members work together towards music. They perform not only in concert halls, but also in commercial facilities and outdoor spaces, and their repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary music, opera, and pop. I believe that gaining a variety of experiences does not mean "good" or "bad" or "growth," but rather that it expands our appeal as an orchestra.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, I wasn't able to listen to live performances for about half a year, so I was really happy when I heard live music for the first time in a while.

And finally, rehearsal begins.
The performance stops every few measures, and the maestro gives various instructions. Even if it is a famous piece that has been played many times, the interpretation and tempo may vary slightly depending on the conductor. As expected of a maestro who takes on classical music with new interpretations, the members of the Kanagawa Philharmonic are also amazing in their ability to quickly respond to the challenge!

Suddenly, I noticed that the players were writing something on the sheet music.
Since there are many different instruments in an orchestra, you can imagine that there are many different musical scores. Furthermore, if each person wrote on the sheet music, things would get complicated. First of all, who prepares and manages orchestral scores?

Librarian Tamae Yamaji answered these simple questions.

What kind of work is a librarian?

Roughly speaking, it is ``preparation'' and ``management'' of musical scores.
First, once the performance program is decided, we will arrange the music score. However, the nuances of the same song may differ slightly depending on the publisher, so it is important to confirm with the conductor which version you wish to use. If the specified sheet music is not in the Kanagawa Philharmonic's library, we may have to purchase it or rent it due to copyright issues.

It seems that many players write on the sheet music, but is that OK?

Even if it's the same song, it's impossible to perform it the same way every time, so it's normal for players to take notes of the conductor's instructions during rehearsals. The ups and downs of bowing may be checked with the conductor and recorded by the librarian before the rehearsal. Each player writes the conductor's instructions into this, creating music unique to that orchestra.

Why did Mr. Yamaji choose the job of librarian?

I took an orchestra class at music college, and I was impressed by how the sheet music was prepared in advance. I learned about the job of a librarian, who supports a gorgeous orchestra behind the scenes, and I thought, ``That's cool!''

Why not try it yourself?

It was a much harder job than I expected (lol). When preparing music scores for concerts, we sometimes repair worn-out scores and paste pages together to create a format that is easier for players to play. Although specialized knowledge of music is required, it is important to be considerate enough to anticipate what the players want.

By the way, this is the tape used for repair and bonding. Since it is made of washi paper, it does not deteriorate over time and has the advantage that it does not get thick even when overlapped, so it is also used for book restoration. In the case of sheet music, staples may be used to bind the book, so sometimes the staples are removed before they rust and the book is re-bound with tape.

What does Mr. Yamaji think is the “attractiveness of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra”?

What I'm looking forward to as a fan is that there are two concertmasters with different personalities. On top of that, they play a wide range of genres, from classical to contemporary music to pop, so you can listen to it every day and never get tired of it (lol). I think this variety is a unique charm of the Kanagawa Philharmonic, so I would like everyone to give it a listen.

Finally, we spoke to Koichiro Taga, the person in charge of public relations who arranged this interview.

What kind of work is public relations?

First, once the concert program has been decided, one thing to do is to create flyers and posters accordingly, distribute them to appropriate locations, and use the media to widely publicize the program. It is also important that we send out information to various media on a daily basis, including responding to interviews like we did today, in order to let everyone know about the appeal of the orchestra.

What's interesting about this job?

Although it's a job where we don't have to stand on stage, we also feel happy when we see the audience go home with smiles and say, ``That was great!'' after the show. When we hold free concerts at shopping malls, etc., even people who don't normally listen to orchestras stop and listen to the music with great enthusiasm. When I encounter such a scene, I truly think, ``I'm glad I took this job.''

Actually, there was a time when I also wanted to become a player. If that dream doesn't come true, should I pursue a career that supports musicians, or should I look for a completely different path? After much trial and error, I was able to find a job in public relations for the Kanagawa Philharmonic. Looking back, I think that the experience I had in a job other than music during a difficult time has helped me in my current job.

Do I still need specialized knowledge about music?

I think it's better to have the minimum necessary knowledge, but I don't think it's necessarily necessary to be someone who has specialized training. What's important is your love for the orchestra. As a business, you may think that ``selling tickets is enough,'' but when it comes to public relations for an orchestra, I think it's most important to be able to convey your passion and love for music. It is true that even concerts that have been put together with a lot of thought may not be able to attract enough customers. Although I am very disappointed, I am happy to be able to share my passion for music with the orchestra members and the audience, and to be able to share in the joys, anger, sorrows, and happiness with them.

Please let us know if there is anything you would like to try or challenge in the future.

I would like to connect more with the local people. I think we can do a lot more with the Yokohama F. Marinos and the DeNA BayStars, and I want companies in Kanagawa Prefecture to know more about the existence of local orchestras. Personally, I would like to connect with public relations people from various industries, not just the music industry, to share information and get ideas on how to make the Kanagawa Philharmonic more exciting.

The Kanagawa Philharmonic celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Unfortunately, there have been many concerts and events that have been canceled or postponed due to measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, but I hope to resume them gradually while taking thorough preventative measures. I feel that the music produced by the Kanagawa Philharmonic is characterized by a hidden passion. Please come to the concert and experience the music of a live orchestra.

* Click here for the official website of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra!

*We received a concert invitation ticket from the Kanagawa Philharmonic to Magcal.net readers! Details are at the end of the page.

[What is Kanagawa Art Hall? ]

This music hall opened in 1992 in Hodogaya Prefectural Park in Hodogaya Ward, Yokohama City. In addition to the hall, there are also five studios, a restaurant, and an exhibition corner. Initially, the Kanagawa Philharmonic's office was located here (currently relocated to Naka-ku, Yokohama), and it is still used for rehearsals, etc., and is sometimes open to the public (currently to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus). , public rehearsals are suspended).

The hall can accommodate up to 300 people. It is equipped with stage curtains and lighting equipment, so it can be used for various recitals and concerts, as well as dance and theater performances.
In Kanagawa Prefecture, in order to further promote the " Magcal Theater " initiative, we have started "Magcal Theater in Art Hall," which uses the Kanagawa Art Hall as a performance venue in addition to Studio HIKARI at the Prefectural Youth Center, which has been used so far. did. Please stay tuned!

We received concert invitation tickets from the Kanagawa Philharmonic to Magcal.net readers!

[Kanagawa Philharmonic Future Concert Ebina Performance]
[Date and time] Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 19:00 start
[Venue] Ebina City Cultural Center Large Hall
[Conductor] Mirai Abe (conductor)
Airi Sunada (soprano)
Naoki Kawada (baritone)
Ebina Citizen Opera Choir (Chorus)
[Main songs]
Glinka/Overture to the opera “Ruslan and Lyudmila”
Donizetti/Benedette queste carte from the opera "Elisir d'Amore"
Donizetti/Come paride vezzoso from the opera "Elisir d'Amore"
Bizet/“Toreador Song” from the opera “Carmen”
Lehár/“Vilja-lied Duet” from the comic opera “The Merry Widow”
Verdi/From the Opera "Nabucco" Va,pensiero
Mascagni/“Gli aranci olezzano” from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”
Dvorak/Symphony No. 9 in E minor Op.95 “From the New World”
*Performers, music, etc. may change due to unavoidable circumstances.
[Price] All seats reserved ¥4,000 / Youth (under 25 years old) ¥2,000
[Inquiries] Kanagawa Philharmonic Ticket Service Tel. 045-226-5107 (Tuesday/Wednesday 10:00-13:00)
*Please refrain from allowing preschool children to enter.
*Conductor Shigeo Genda, who was scheduled to appear at the touring performance ``Future Concert Ebina Performance,'' was unable to perform due to unforeseen circumstances. Mr. Mirai Abe will take over as the conductor. Please note that there are no changes to the program.


Applications for the giveaway have ended. Thank you for your many applications.

[Gift application summary]
We will be giving away tickets to 3 groups of 6 people for the ``Kanagawa Philharmonic Future Concert Ebina Performance'' to be held at the Ebina City Cultural Center Large Hall from 19:00 on Wednesday, October 21st.

【Application method】
If you would like to receive a viewing ticket, please apply using the application form below. We look forward to receiving your applications.

[Application deadline]
Until October 2, 2020 (Friday) 23:59

[Lottery/Winner Announcement]
Winners will be notified by email, so please be careful of your spam email settings. Emails will be sent from the Magcul.net Management Office (info.magcul@gmail.com).

The announcement of the winner will be replaced by notification of the winner via the above email. On the day of the performance, please present your winning notification email at the reception desk of the Ebina City Cultural Hall Large Hall. The staff will give you a ticket.
*The personal information you provide will not be used for any purpose other than the lottery.

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