Conductor Keitaro Harada maintains a blossoming, international presence throughout North America, Asia, Mexico, and Europe. He places high personal value on the advancement of each musician and ensemble he encounters, music’s contribution to a community’s greater cultural fabric, and the ultimate realization of a musical work through thoughtful study and collaborative performance. With ebullient charisma, proven artistic prowess, and passion for excellence, Harada fulfills a broad scope of musical collaboration via opera, symphonic and chamber works, pops, film scores, ballet, educational and outreach programming, and multi-disciplinary projects.
Harada’s credentials are exemplary. In his fourth season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, Harada regularly assists Music Director Louis Langrée, conducts the CSO, POPS, and has assisted James Conlon and Juanjo Mena for the May Festival. He is a three-time recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2016, 2015, 2014), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, and was a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival. In 2018 and 2016, he was invited by Valery Gergiev to serve on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival.
Harada’s most recent and upcoming symphonic guest engagements include debuts with NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra, and Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan. This season, he returns to Siena Wind Orchestra to conduct the world premiere of eight works and to record with the AVEX record label. Recent and upcoming USA debuts include Houston Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Savannah Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, and Music in the Mountains Festival. This season, Keitaro returns to Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, and Richmond Symphony, leads The Nutcracker and world-premiere of Victoria for Northern Ballet (Leeds, UK), and makes his first appearance with Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan.
Past seasons include concerts with New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Boise Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora (México).
In the opera realm, Harada conducted Song from the Uproar for Cincinnati Opera in 2017 and a run of Bizet’s Carmen for Bulgaria’s Sofia National Opera and Ballet that will reprise with a Japan tour in fall 2018. In past seasons and as Associate Conductor of Arizona Opera, he led productions of Don Pasquale, The Daughter of the Regiment, Tosca, and Carmen. As a 2010 Seiji Ozawa Fellow at Tanglewood, Harada conducted critically-acclaimed performances of Ariadne auf Naxos. In 2011, he made his professional opera-conducting debut leading Britten’s Turn of the Screw for North Carolina Opera, where he returned in January 2019 for Carmen, and will also return for Pagliacci in January 2020.
From 2010 to 2014, Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization’s profile, expanded their season, and led the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic. Additional career highlights include invitations to the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition and Sir Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in Germany and the first Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition in 2011. In 2012, he was a semi-finalist of the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland. Harada held the position of Associate Conductor for Richmond Symphony from 2014 to 2016.
A native of Tokyo, Japan, Harada is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Mercer University. He was a James E. Rogers Institute for Orchestral and Opera Conducting Fellow 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 was featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top and as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on Keitaro’s bright career titled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013.