In April 2022, Mr. Ryunori Numajiri will be appointed as the fourth music director of the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra (Kanagawa Philharmonic), and a dialogue between Mr. Numajiri and Governor Kuroiwa will be held.
We will introduce Mr. Numajiri, who is active on the front lines both domestically and internationally, and Governor Kuroiwa, the ``Kanagawa Philharmonic cheerleader'', about their thoughts on the Kanagawa Philharmonic, their future aspirations, and interesting anecdotes.
- Please tell us your honest feelings when you were asked to become the 4th music director, and how you feel now after taking up the position in April.
Honestly, I was very happy.
We have had a long-term relationship with the Kanagawa Philharmonic, and even performed there when regular concerts were held at the Prefectural Music Hall. Since 2007, we have performed together in an opera performance at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall for 10 years, once a year. Since rehearsals for opera performances are long, I think our bond naturally grew stronger. Since you will be taking up the position at a point where you no longer have to force yourself to look good or be overly concerned about yourself, you will be able to fly with sparks from the beginning.
We are blessed to have one of the most famous halls, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, as our home, but in addition, the Prefectural Concert Hall and the Prefectural Hall also function as second and third homes, with programs tailored to each. can be assembled. It's rare to find such a privileged environment.
-What is the position of the Kanagawa Philharmonic in Kanagawa Prefecture?
It is the only professional orchestra based in Kanagawa Prefecture, and is a valuable asset to Kanagawa.
When I became governor 11 years ago, I was asked to become the leader of the Kanagawa Philharmonic's cheering squad, and when I asked him about it, I realized that it was quite a difficult story.
In fact, if the Kanagawa Philharmonic doesn't resolve its 500 million yen debt deficit within two years, it will have no choice but to dissolve.
So after watching the Kanagawa Philharmonic concert, I grabbed a donation box and a microphone and called out, ``The Kanagawa Philharmonic is going bankrupt! Please donate!'' As everyone came out with happy faces after listening to the performance, the governor suddenly called for donations in the lobby, which surprised everyone, and a large number of people started lining up in front of my donation box, collecting more and more donations. Thank you for your understanding.
As we were doing this, the band members' mindset changed, and I suddenly realized that we were standing together in the lobby in our costumes, and we were all shouting, "Please!" Ta.
This has continued for a long time, and by eliminating its excess debt in August 2013 and becoming a public interest incorporated foundation in April 2017, it is a valuable orchestra with a strong sense of what everyone has done to protect it. I think.
At the same time, I felt that the Kanagawa Philharmonic's sound was improving. Then the conductor at the time said the same thing, so I realized that my feeling was correct.
Your feelings will become one as you recognize the crisis. This is also reflected in the sound of the orchestra. That's why all the people of Kanagawa Prefecture must come together to raise the quality of the Kanagawa Philharmonic and overcome this crisis. I think it was a very dramatic experience like that.
-Please tell us about the appeal of the Kanagawa Philharmonic.
As the governor said earlier, we are the only professional orchestra based in Kanagawa Prefecture, which has a population of 9.2 million people, so there is still room for us to gain new fans. Although neighboring Tokyo has a population of 14 million, there are only eight major professional orchestras. There is a lot of competition.
Kanagawa Prefecture has an atmosphere of thirst for culture, and amateur orchestras, brass bands, and choruses are very popular. There are many halls with excellent acoustics outside of Yokohama, so the Kanagawa Philharmonic feels like it exists in a treasure trove. Their ability has improved tremendously in recent years, and I think they are a worthy orchestra to support.
I agree. There was a crisis of survival, and the Kanagawa Philharmonic itself made various efforts to overcome it.
He went everywhere, from small concerts to elementary schools and other places, to let people enjoy music.
When they went to an elementary school and performed with the school's orchestra, or when the Kanagawa Philharmonic suddenly came to play their school's school song, the elementary school students who didn't know what it was at first were like, "Huh? I heard that!" You can experience the charm of music and orchestras and realize that there is.
As a result, the feeling of ``Let's all support the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra'' and ``This is an asset of our prefecture'' spread. I think that gave me great strength.
The Kanagawa Philharmonic has steadily grown as a result of these efforts.
As a result, the ranking of ``Your Favorite Japanese Orchestra'' rose to 4th place. I think that's something that makes us really happy. I think I would like to continue to cherish this trend.
-Could you please tell us about what is necessary for the Kanagawa Philharmonic going forward?
Anyway, I want everyone in the prefecture to be aware of this. We need to reduce the number of people who say, ``The orchestra has nothing to do with me.'' For that purpose, I don't mind performing outdoors or on a ship. I would like to hold various types of concerts, such as concerts for children and beginners, and crossovers with other genres. Of course, it is also important to improve the quality of regular concerts, which are the face of the orchestra.
We aim to have a magazine rack in the living room of each household in the prefecture that always contains a booklet about the Kanagawa Philharmonic's annual program.
Isn't it difficult to get into an orchestra? I think we can all go out together and do more things in a way that brings us closer together.
Actually, I think there are a lot of mysteries when watching orchestral performances. For example, what is the conductor doing? What is that person doing? I don't think I really understand that part.
It doesn't make any sound.
Can an orchestra perform without a conductor?
There are times when you do something appropriate, right?
When the performance is going well, I sometimes don't give any instructions at all.
What a conductor does is actually a mystery to everyone. If there's something that explains it to you, I think you'll be able to realize, ``Ah! That's how they do it.''
When I was a newscaster a long time ago, Seiji Ozawa's annual concert (music festival) in Matsumoto was featured on a news program. We took the studio itself to the stage in Matsumoto, and after the concert, Seiji Ozawa came and performed the program, and I saw the rehearsal at that time. It wasn't until I saw the rehearsal that I really understood what a conductor does.
It's very easy to understand when you look at the process of making something by pulling everyone in one direction.
For example, if the string instruments and wind instruments don't match well, the conductor will give a prescription, such as having the percussion instruments turned down a little, or conversely, having them hit more clearly. I think seeing a scene like that will deepen your understanding of orchestras. Kanagawa Philharmonic rehearsals held at Kanagawa Art Hall are often free and open to the public, so please come and see them.
However, I didn't really understand what conducting was, so when I was a student I was conducting an orchestra rehearsal when the sound suddenly improved. I was wondering why, but Seiji Ozawa-sensei had come into the practice range. Then everyone suddenly started making good sounds (lol). If that's the case, I'd like to say that they should produce a good sound from the beginning, but in the end, it's not just the conducting technique, but the human ability. You may not be able to see such things just by observing a few rehearsals.
Check here for information on the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, where a new tradition has begun:
Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra official homepage