Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra

Commissioned by
Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan
Strategic Plan for Integrated Use of Cultual Properties in 2019

Music for Peace Concert

Preparing for 2020

Preparing for 2020

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics around the corner, as the orchestra of Hiroshima, a city known throughout the world as an International City of Peace, we are working toward the implementation of a five year plan to share music culture and our message of peace with the world. With Beethoven’s compositions turning 250 years old in 2020, by proudly performing great cultural works, we hope to create a cultural festival atmosphere at the Olympics.

Our policy

The reason for our chosen policy is the close relationship we formed with Poland through the International Chopin Piano Competition; recognizing the atomic bombing and the Holocaust as the most horrific crimes of World War II, our organization and Peace and Music Ambassador Martha Argerich found a shared belief in “Music Against Crime”, the idea that music can encourage people to love one another, abating the kinds of feelings that make people want to hurt each other.

“Music for Peace ” Flagship Concert

Written by
Shoji Sato,  secretary to Martha Argerich,
Peace and Music Ambassador of Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra

The Flagship Concert on 16th February 2017 is subtitled as “ Poland-Japan Project 2016-2020”. Why ?

Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra(HSO) played” Peace Arch Hiroshima Classical Concert” together with 23 musicians from Sinfonia Varsovia , Poland , on 23rd July 2016. This concert with Polish musicians was so successful that HSO and Maestro Akiyama has decided to invite two members from SV as guest musicians of HSO for the Music for Peace Flagship Concert on February 16th 2017.

The concept of “ Poland-Japan Project 2016-2020” has been discussed since 2014 ,and that is Hiroshima and Warsaw to send out the message of peace through joint performance by the orchestras in Hiroshima and Warsaw.

Even though Hiroshima and Warsaw were heavily damaged during the Second World War , they have amazingly recovered in the last 70 years. I think such recovery could only be made possible through the endless efforts to overcome the tragedy and create a future by people who believe strongly that no more wars and killings should ever happen.

Both SV and HSO were founded after the Second World War , and the city of Hiroshima and Warsaw are now presenting peace making messages through music. 
HSO in Hiroshima and SV in Warsaw will be important partners of “Poland-Japan Project 2016-2020”.

When Martha Argerich was informed about this concept in May 2014, she immediately wanted to join this project and play with HSO.

Her wish happened in August 2015 when HSO invited her for the concerts in Hiroshima and Tokyo commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWⅡand A-bomb attach on Hiroshima. At the request of Argerich, those concerts included narrations about the tragedy in Auschwitz in Poland and A-bomb attack on Hiroshima.

Argerich told us that “ Our mission is to keep the memory of tragedy alive.”

Martha Argerich was so touched with the joint performance with HSO, and she has been telling her friends in many countries the importance of musicians’ visit to Hiroshima and making music together with HSO.

In December 2015 , Argerich received the title of Peace and Music Ambassador of Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra.

I, having been supporting Argerich as her manager for more than 40 years, have been appointed by HSO as the secretary to Peace and Music Ambassador , and now I am working for inviting guest musicians to HSO.

Argerich likes the guest musicians to be invited to Hiroshima from many countries  , so in addition to the two Polish musicians HSO has invited contrabass player and French horn player from Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Canada for the Flagship Concert.

Argerich played with the orchestra from Warsaw and Montréal very often, and they are extremely kind to support HSO’s Music for Peace project with big sympathy.
The sister-city relationship between Montréal and Hiroshima will boost friendly atmosphere of this concert.

I believe that the musicians like Martha Argerich who visited Hiroshima and played  with HSO and met the people in Hiroshima, will find special feeling. Their experience in Hiroshima will be shared by the friends and family in Warsaw and Montréal, and they will join the team of Hiroshima’s Peace Making activities.

It is amazing that the world renowned music critics and journalists from New York, London, Paris , Vienna, Montréal and Warsaw will come to Hiroshima and attend the concert. Their visit to Hiroshima will give us a chance to show HSO’s artistic quality and its Music for Peace concept.

I am quite confident that this concert will get acclaim not only in Japan but also worldwide.

I can think of the following scenarios if we witness the great success of this concert.

  • Many orchestras who sympathize with HSO’s Music for Peace concept wish to join HSO for joint music creation,  and the flagship concerts will take place every year.
  • The guest musicians from the overseas orchestras who experienced music making with HSO and exchange with Hiroshima citizens with good memory, would like to have another chance to visit Hiroshima.
  • HSO, keeping cooperation with Sinfonia Varsovia , will be invited to Poland in 2019,the 100th anniversary year of diplomatic relations between Japan and Poland.
  • The idea of “ Hiroshima International Peace Orchestra “ consisting of HSO as core members and those guest members from various oversea orchestras will come up.

Hiroshima International Peace Orchestra will play Music for Peace concerts in Hiroshima and other places. This orchestra’s activities will be recognized as the cultural program of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Paralympic.