Conductor Keitaro Harada continues to be recognized at the highest levels for his artistic abilities and passion for musical excellence. As a three-time recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2014, 2015, 2016), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival, Harada’s credentials are exemplary.
Currently in his second season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, Harada regularly assists Music Director Louis Langrée and conducts the CSO, POPS, and World Piano Competition, and assisted James Conlon for the 2016 May Festival. Keitaro also holds the position of Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera.
With a growing schedule as a guest conductor, Harada’s current season marks several high-profile engagements. He began this summer at the 2016 Pacific Music Festival by invitation of Valery Gergiev, performing to an audience of nearly 5000. He makes his conducting debut with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan and with Boise Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in the United States. He leads the 2018 Japan tour of Bulgaria Sofia Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen.
Last season, Harada was invited to the prestigious Mahler Competition in Germany and made his conducting debut in Japan with the New Japan Philharmonic in a sold out performance as well as his debut with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He led performances of Carmen for Arizona Opera and conducted concerts with Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora. He held the position of Associate Conductor for Richmond Symphony from autumn of 2014 to spring of 2016.
In 2013, Harada was selected by the League of American Orchestras as one of only six conductors for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, a prestigious showcase that occurs biennially in an effort to promote gifted, emerging conductors to orchestra industry leaders. In 2012, Harada was a semi-finalist at the 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. In 2011, Harada was one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition and he made his professional opera conducting debut with North Carolina Opera.
Early in his career, Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization’s profile, expanded their season; added challenging repertoire, and took the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic.
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Harada is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Mercer University. He completed his formal conducting training at the University of Arizona with Thomas Cockrell and Charles Bontrager. He has also studied under Christoph von Dohnányi, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Herbert Blomstedt, Vladimir Ponkin, Adrian Gnam and Stefan Asbury. Harada champions creative programming, development of the orchestra as a part of a community’s cultural fabric, advancement of each musician he encounters, and responsibility as an artistic and civic leader.
Very early in his career, he was selected as a guest artist for National Public Radio’s From the Top and is featured as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on the bright career of Keitaro titled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013. Harada’s general manager is JEJ Artists. Engagements in Asia are managed by Japan Arts.