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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 10:09 am | Fair 54º


Conductor Heiichiro Ohayama Renews Contract with Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra

Heiichiro Ohayama, music director and conductor of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra for more than 30 years, has signed another five-year contract with the chamber orchestra.

Heiichiro Ohayama
Heiichiro Ohayama

“We are thrilled to have Heiichiro continue to conduct our exceptional musicians,” Executive Director Kevin Marvin said. “His legacy is inspirational. He has opened the doors for our musicians to play with world-class soloists and has fostered Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra musicians who have gone on to careers at the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and other world-acclaimed ensembles.”

Michelle Kim, one of Ohyama’s former students and former violinist with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, currently plays as acting principal associate concertmaster with the New York Philharmonic.

“I basically grew up under Heiichiro’s mentorship, ever since I was 11,” Kim said. “His musicianship, incredible leadership and true love of music is something to be admired, as he also shares that with others.

“Without him, I would never be here. I am indebted to him — to his ongoing leadership and contribution to me as a musician. I’m just thankful for who he is and what he has done for me.”

In addition to his work with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Ohyama has played as principal violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has been appointed conductor the Youth String Orchestra of the Crossroads School for Sciences and Arts and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He has also been the artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society’s “SummerFest;” artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; principal chief conductor of Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan, and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra; and music director of Nagasaki Music Festival.

Ohyama taught at the University of California as a professor of music for 30 years. In 2005, he received the Fukuoka City Cultural Prize and in 2008, the Outstanding Performance Award from the Japanese Government.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra.


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