Sapporo Symphony Orchestra

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The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra (札幌交響楽団 Sapporo Kokyo Gakudan) is a professional orchestra based in Sapporo, Japan. The orchestra has the nickname “Sakkyo” and is a full member of the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras.


The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra is the only professional orchestra in Hokkaido. Its subscription concerts take place regularly at Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara and its office is also located in Kitara.


  • 1961 Started as the Sapporo Citizen Symphony and had its first subscription concert
  • 1962 Announced itself as the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra
  • 1975 U.S./West Germany Tour
  • 1981 Started performing concerts in Tokyo and Osaka (Tokyo only at present)
  • 1992 Southeast Asian Tour
  • 1994 Southeast Asian Tour
  • 2001 U.K. Tour
  • 2005 South Korea Tour
  • 2007 Celebrated its 500th subscription concert
  • 2008 Announced the position of the principal guest conductor
  • 2009 Authorized as a public interests corporation
  • 2011 Celebrated its 50th anniversary and completed a European Tour (Munich, London, Salerno, Milan, and Düsseldorf)


  • Masao Araya (First Principal Conductor) <1961-1968>
  • Peter Schwarz (Second Principal Conductor) <1969-1975>
  • Hiroyuki Iwaki (Principal Conductor, then Music Director, later Conductor Laureate) <1975-1987>
  • Kazuyoshi Akiyama (Music Advisor, later Principal Conductor) <1988-1998>
  • Tadaaki Otaka (Resident Conductor) <1981-1986>(Principal Conductor, then Music Advisor, later Music Director) <1998–present>
  • Ken Takaseki (Associate Conductor, then Resident Conductor) <1988-1992, 2003–present>
  • Radomil Eliška (Principal Guest Conductor) <2008–present>


The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Hokkaido’s only professional orchestra, has been affectionately known as “Sakkyo” to Hokkaido residents. The orchestra marked its 50th anniversary in 2011. Based at Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara, which boasts some of the best acoustics in the world, the orchestra is distinguished by its clear sound and dynamic power of expression that are inspired by Hokkaido’s vast natural beauty and charm. The orchestra has been engaged in performances with its sights set on audiences around the world and continues to improve itself. The current conductors are Tadaaki Otaka, Music Director; Resident Conductor and Radomil Eliška, Principal Guest Conductor. The orchestra plays over 120 concerts per year throughout Japan and has been invited to perform in the U.S.A., Germany, Southeast Asia, the U.K., and South Korea. It has also released a CD every year since 2007, with the recordings made at Kitara. The orchestra was authorized as a public interest incorporated foundation in October 2009.


With 77 orchestra players, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra performs more than 120 concerts per year, including 2 performances of each subscription concert every month from April through March.

Official website[edit]