TDK Orchestra Concert 2019

TDK Orchestra Concert 2019

WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne

Conductor: Marek Janowski

For young people aspiring to shape the future through music
— A TDK social contribution activity —

In accordance with our Corporate Motto of “Contribute to culture and industry through creativity,” TDK has been supporting performances in Japan by top-class orchestras from around the world since 2001 in what are known as the TDK Orchestra Concerts. This year we gave special support to performances by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne conducted by Marek Janowski, one of the great masters of the German tradition of music today.

As a social contribution activity for young people studying music, our support also included an invitation to an open rehearsal as well as an actual performance and, for the first time this year, the TDK Rising Stars Lecture offering a direct dialogue with professional performers.

Echoing TDK’s “Attracting Tomorrow” communication message, this original social contribution activity provided young people aspiring to give shape to a new future with the opportunity to come into contact with top-class music and musicians.

Experiencing a pre-concert rehearsal: 230 students invited

The pre-concert rehearsal is a precious opportunity for the conductor and orchestra members to make a final check on expression of the works to be performed. TDK invited 230 students to an open rehearsal of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne prior to a concert in Japan, held at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall on Thursday, November 21. Furthermore, prior to the open rehearsal, a pre-lecture was given by Akira Senju, a specially appointed professor at Tokyo University of the Arts and specially invited professor at Tokyo College of Music who continues to his activities as composer, arranger, and music producer. Professor Senju spoke about the highlights of the rehearsal and the works of Beethoven to be performed that day.

Scenes of the pre-lecture by Mr. Senju and the open rehearsal

The open rehearsal following the pre-lecture proved to be a very precious and rare opportunity for the students to watch as conductor Marek Janowski and the orchestra members made their final check. Thirty of these students then were invited to the actual concert, where they directly experienced the dynamic live sound.

First trial: TDK Rising Stars Lecture for dialogue between professional musicians and students

The TDK Rising Stars Lecture, which was organized for the first time this year, is a social contribution activity by TDK to support young people aspiring to give shape to the future.

Held on Friday, November 22 at the Sengawa Campus of Toho Gakuen School of Music, the lecture featured Junichiro Murakami, who serves as the principal viola player of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, talking to students at his alma mater about such topics as his own experience accumulated over many years in Europe and the mental readiness and values required of aspiring musicians. It proved to be a very meaningful occasion, with the students, earnest in their approach to music, asking many questions.

Comments by participants in the pre-lecture and open rehearsal

  • “Thanks to the pre-lecture, I got a wider perspective for listening to and watching the open rehearsal. It was very good. I’m sure it has benefited me a lot.”

    (University student, female)

  • “The pre-lecture was very easy to understand, and it broadened my perspective for listening to the performance. Not only this time but going forward too, perhaps my feeling for music itself are going to change.”

    (University student, male)

  • “I had no knowledge of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne at all before this pre-lecture, but I learned a lot from the very easy-to-understand explanations.”

    (University student, female)

  • “I was overjoyed, because I really did not expect to be able to watch from the rehearsal. In the concert that followed, I was deeply impressed by the delicateness of the sounds. If I have such an opportunity again, I will certainly apply.”

    (University student, female)

  • “It was the first time for me to listen to a concert at Opera City, so first of all I was just overwhelmed by the acoustics. The experience of closely watching an orchestra concert is something I definitely cannot have where I live.”

    (Senior high school student, female)

  • “Until the rehearsal began, the orchestra members were all touching their instruments at random. But then when the rehearsal started, the atmosphere changed in an instant. I was so impressed by their professionalism.”

    (University student, female)

  • “In the rehearsal I was able to see the expressions on the faces of the musicians and scenes that are not usually visible in a concert. In addition, it was the first time for me to listen in a concert hall, so I learned a lot about both Beethoven and concert halls. It will be very useful for me.”

    (University student, male)

TV broadcasts of the events

Scheduled TV reports on the events are as follows:

“Akira Senju Talks About the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne Concerts”
Sunday, January 26, 2020;13:30–14:00; BS-TBS
Saturday, February 8, 2020; 09:30–10:00; CS-TBS Channel 1

Concert information

Date and time: Thursday, November 21; 14:00
Venue: Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall
Program: Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
*Performance for invitees
Sponsor: Japan Arts, Inc.
Cosponsor: Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation
Support: TDK Corporation
Assistance: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Date and time: Friday, November 26; 19:00
Venue: Suntory Hall
Program: Beethoven, Piano concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 (Emperor);
piano: Cho Seong-jin
Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 (Eroica)
Sponsors: Fuji Television Network, Inc., Japan Arts, Inc.
Special support: TDK Corporation
Assistance: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Cooperation: Universal Music


  • ©Jörn Neumann

    WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne

    Over the more than seven decades since its founding in 1947, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne has established its status as one of the leading radio symphony orchestras in Europe. Its trademarks are a vast repertory and artistic perfection. Its activities, which include collaborations with main concert halls and many music festivals in the large city of Cologne, overseas tours, and the release of numerous CDs, are closely watched internationally, as it is seen as a representative of the German orchestra world.
    Furthermore, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne has contributed to the history of music by performing the world premiere of many modern works. Such great composers as Igor Stravinsky, Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Krzysztof Penderecki have conducted their own works with the orchestra. In addition, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne promotes the diffusion of classical music through TV and radio broadcasts, digital media, and an educational program. The orchestra first teamed up with Marek Janowski in 1983, and a CD of works by Paul Hindemith was released by Pentatone in February 2018. It also began a “Beethoven Zyklus” cycle in September 2018 and is going ahead with first-ever recordings of Beethoven’s works. On Janowski’s 80th birthday in February 2019, the orchestra welcomed soloist Cho Seong-jin and boldly embarked on a nationwide tour of Germany.

  • Marek Janowski (Conductor)

    Born in Warsaw in 1939, Marek Janowski is one of the great masters of the German tradition of music.
    He was educated in Germany and served as general manager of music at opera houses in Freiburg and Dortmund. It was during his stay in Dortmund that his artistic expertise was highly acclaimed, and he came to be invited to leading opera houses in Europe. Since the latter half of the 1970s, there is probably not one of the leading opera houses of the world that has not invited him regularly for a guest performance. Janowski’s career has ranged from the Metropolitan Opera New York to the Bavarian State Opera Munich, from Chicago and San Francisco to Hamburg, and from Vienna and Berlin to Paris. He has served as musical director at the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of France, chief conductor at the Gurzenich Orchestra in Cologne, first guest conductor at the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, music director at the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, chief conductor at the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, and artistic director at the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is praised throughout the world for his interpretations of Wagner, Richard Strauss, Bruckner, Brahms, Hindemith, and the Second Viennese School. There are many outstanding recordings covering his vast repertory.
    In the 2018/2019 season, among others, Janowski was scheduled to conduct the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Swiss Romande Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Today Janowski enjoys an outstanding reputation among the premier orchestras of Europe and North America, and he is widely recognized as a conductor with the ability to nurture first-class orchestras of international standing.

    ©Jörn Neumann