Tadaaki Otaka, CBE (尾高 忠明 Otaka Tadaaki?, born November 8, 1947) is a Japanese and British conductor. He studied composition, theory, and French horn, at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, and later was a conducting student of Hideo Saito.
Otaka has been conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and became conductor laureate since 1991. From 1981 to 1986, he was chief conductor of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and since May 1998 held the titles of music adviser and principal conductor. From 1992 to 1998 he was principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. He founded the Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo in 1995 and established as among Japan's best chamber ensembles, and has served as its music adviser, principal conductor, and honorary conductor laureate.
In the UK, Otaka was principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 1987 to 1995. From 1998 to 2001, he directed the Britten-Pears Orchestra.
In September 2009, Otaka was appointed principal guest conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), effective as of 2010. After the sudden departure of MSO's chief conductor Oleg Caetani in October 2009, Otaka's role was accelerated for him to assume the post in late 2009.
Otaka was the recipient of the 23rd Suntory Music Award in 1991. He was appointed an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1997. Two years later, Otaka became the first Japanese person to be awarded the Elgar Medal, for his efforts on behalf of the music of Edward Elgar.
He is the son of the composer Hisatada Otaka.
- Robin Usher (2009-09-22). "Big names and big changes as MSO looks forward". The Age. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Robin Usher (2009-10-14). "Orchestra abruptly ditches chief conductor". The Age. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
- Per remarks of Katie Derham on BBC Radio 3's Sunday Breakfast program, 28 February 2010
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