The performance was precisely led by Keitaro Harada.

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer

Harada showed that he is a skilled sound-painter in the first three interludes: “Dawn,” “Sunday Morning” and “Moonlight.” In the fourth, “The Storm,” he was able to cut loose with a demonstration of raw power. The conductor didn’t neglect to bring out subtleties in the music, including an evocation of mist and sea-spray and even a few rays of sun trying to poke through the storm clouds. The core appeal of “The Storm,” however, is the ferocious, blasting tempest depicted with uncanny accuracy. Harada whipped the SBSO into a howling force of nature, providing the evening’s first heart-pounding thrills.

Jack Walton, South Bend Tribune

From the moment guest conductor Keitaro Harada’s baton came down on the Boise Philharmonic Saturday night, you could feel the electricity in the air. It was going to be a special night...There still are more candidates to come, but as a cheering crowd, multiple curtain calls and a packed after-party attest to, Harada will be hard to top.

Dan Oland, Idaho Statesman

For the final four or five minutes of the 35-minute performance, the whole orchestra seemed on the verge of leaping out of their seats and breaking into one giant dance party. Harada was at the podium, bouncing on the balls of his toes, flailing his arms in time to Bizet's racing score. The Cincinnati Symphony associate conductor, leading without a score, pointed to his left and the violins came to life.

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

Harada made the climaxes awe-inspiring. The audience gave the performance an extended standing ovation even though it was just the end of the first half of the concert.

David Williams, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Conductor Keitaro Harada gave a balanced reading of the score that had a lucidity of musical detail and a good helping of emotional tension. He gave every phrase its proper shape and drew especially fine playing from the orchestra in the delightful entr'acte that opens the third act.

Maria Nockin, Opera Today

The music was breathtaking with each note of the orchestra perfectly coordinated with the action on the stage. Each orchestral overture induced goosebumps in every audience member, and the playing helped set the stage for Carmen's dramatic and captivating story.

Kincaid Rabb, Arizona Daily Wildcat



He’s a supertalent. Catch all of his performances while he is in Richmond. You won’t be disappointed.

Tom Silvestri, Richmond Times Dispatch

Right from the opening notes of the overture, the audience knew that conductor Keitaro Harada was putting his individual stamp on this piece. He combined Donizetti’s delightful melodies with dramatic musical coherence. His dynamic range was huge and he kept the playing transparent so that listeners heard all the melodic strands in the fabric of the score.

Maria Nockin, Opera Today



Harada was welcomed to the podium with a clatter of stamping feet from the orchestra, who played their hearts out for him and cheered him again at the end.

Eli Newberger, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Everything about Arizona Opera’s production clicked, from the chorus, which never ceases to delight; to the orchestra, which sounded refreshingly alive under Harada, Arizona Opera’s associate conductor. Harada performed Donizetti’s delightful score with energy and charisma.

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

As Edwin Barker played on a podium next to the conductor, Keitaro Harada, who took brisk command of the proceedings, you felt for a moment that you were in a dark, smoke-filled basement, listening to a dude swing.

Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts

ably and passionately conducted

Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic


Harada drew those lines subtly, racing the tempo at times to create a palpable tension then settling into lush string passages that created a cinematic soundscape.

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

...conducting was so engaged with each player in the Schubert Symphony No. 5 in B-flat that a quality of mutual delight in performing together pervaded this sunny, familiar work...Harada listens intently, leads with clarity and subtlety, and emits a thoughtful and appreciative musicality. The first movement was radiant, with clear lines and perfectly balanced contrapuntal voices...Harada’s conducting hands were as James Levine’s at his best: inviting, describing, and summoning with precision the emotions that underpinned the phrases.

Eli Newberger, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Harada and the orchestra performed it with the breadth and conviction of a symphony, digging deep into his symphonic ambitions to reveal dynamic colors and textures from all sides of the ensemble. Harada brought out soaring strings swelling against triumphant horns and trumpets that pierced the calm. Deep voiced bass lines contrasted the calm of twin flutes and clarinets. Brahms might not have called this a symphony, but Harada presented it as one, drawing a rich, colorful performance from the orchestra.

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

...fast-becoming one of the most talked-about young conductors in the U.S.

Broadway World

...led a tightly sprung, supremely confident performance, moving inevitably along the work's strange pathways, including scenes accompanied only by timpani, bells or harp. The chamber orchestra filled Durham's Carolina Theatre with immensely impressive playing.

Roy C. Dicks, News Observer

When we were looking for From the Top alumni to feature during our 10th-anniversary season, 25-year-old Keitaro Harada rose quickly to the top of the list.

Christopher O'Riley, NPR

Harada propelled the orchestra to interpret all of Danzón’s infectious, undulating music with all the passion inherent in a religious revival, bringing the packed house to its feet.

Nick del Vecchio, Living at the Opera

As Barker played on a podium next to the conductor, Keitaro Harada, who took brisk command of the proceedings, you felt for a moment that you were in a dark, smoke-filled basement, listening to a dude swing.

Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts

If you need something done, ask a busy person: If the old adage is true, the go-to on our local classical music scene would be Keitaro Harada

89.5fm KBACH Phoenix, AZ

What is appreciated is conductor Keitaro Harada’s relationship with the orchestra players brought out the best in them.

Bill Hess, Sierra Vista Herald

one of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming young maestros.

Scott Andrews, The Forecaster

Harada, a conductor of growing talent and infectious showmanship, coaxed an informed, passionate and exciting performance from his musicians. ...He's bundle of energy at the podium, directing the musicians with technical proficiency and an unbridled passion.

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

Harada’s command of the score was total, from the uncommonly beautiful legato and sweep of the opening orchestral phrases, hinting at the inspired, ecstatic melodies created by the character known as the Composer, to the carefully controlled climaxes of the final duet, in which Ariadne and Bacchus join in uncomprehending ecstasy.

Judith Malafronte, Opera News; A Publication Of The Metropolitan Opera Guild

...with Jacob Druckman’s “Aureole” (1979), a score rich in hazy mystery and textural allure, qualities that Keitaro Harada had no trouble coaxing from the orchestra.

Allan Kozinn, New York Times

vividly conducted

Matthew Guerrieri, The Boston Globe

GREAT EXPECTATIONS...has the juice to make them reality...

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star / Cover page of ARTS Section 06.05.2009

this small instrumental force was credibly — indeed magically — magnified into a proper orchestra by conductor Keitaro Harada through perfect timing, dramatic dynamics, and unerring coordination of the musical stagecraft. Not a second was out of synch. Everything had that ineffable snap. There was never a dull moment!

Eli Newberger, The Boston Musical Intelligencer -Review of “Ariadne auf Naxos” at Tanglewood Music Center

His style was highly expressive

K.S. Morrison, The Macon Telegraph

He possessed endless energy and confidence and an impressive sense of timing that resulted in one of the evening’s finest moments.

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

Under Harada’s confident leadership, the orchestra filled in the sonic landscape of the ballads “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Ben.” Harada coaxed sweeping string passages that changed the dynamic of the softly uptempo “Rock With You” and the rollicking, jazzy “The Way You Make Me Feel.” He was equally effective in the orchestra’s more subtle contributions to “Beat It” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’...

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

...pulled sounds from the orchestra rarely heard in most concerts.

Bill Hess, Sierra Vista Herald