The Digital Concert Hall is actually reserved for concert broadcasts by the Berliner Philharmoniker. Occasionally the orchestra makes exceptions, especially when youth orchestras are invited to perform. This season, we are broadcasting several concerts by such ensembles. In addition to the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, you can now hear the Waseda Symphony Orchestra from Tokyo in the Digital Concert Hall – for free!
The orchestra, which was founded in 1913, is made up of students from the highly respected Waseda University. It has had a long association with the Berliner Philharmoniker. At the International Youth Orchestra Competition in Berlin in 1978, the Waseda Symphony Orchestra was awarded the Herbert von Karajan Gold Medal. When, one year later, Karajan was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University, he conducted the orchestra in an open rehearsal to mark the occasion. Since then, there has been a lively exchange between the Waseda Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker, who recently worked with some of the members of the youth orchestra when they made a guest appearance in Japan in November 2011.
The man responsible for the orchestra’s high artistic standard is its conductor of many years, Masahiko Tanaka. In this concert he conducts a programme that provides ample opportunity to experience the “almost shameless precision” (Der Tagesspiegel) of the Waseda Symphony Orchestra. The focus of the concert is Richard Strauss with his brilliantly orchestrated tone poems An Alpine Symphony and Till Eulenspiegel, followed by a concerto for Japanese drums and orchestra by Kazuki Yutani.
This guest performance by the Waseda Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March 2011.