Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra

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


Krzysztof Penderecki Composer/Conductor

Krzysztof Penderecki

Multi-award winning Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki is one of the world’s leading and most distinguished musicians of his generation.

Works like Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), St. Luke Passion (1966), Cello Concerto No.2 (1982) written for Mstislav Rostropovich, Polish Requiem (1984), Symphony No.3 (1995), Violin Concerto No.2 “Metamorphosen” written for Anne-Sophie Mutter (1995), Symphony No.7 “The Seven Gates of Jerusalem” (1996) and the Double Concerto (2012) written for Janine Jansen and Julian Rachlin, to name a few, are now considered masterworks of our time.

Aside from composition, Krzysztof Penderecki has developed an outstanding career as a conductor over the years. He was guest conductor of both the NDR Elbphilharmonie and MDR Leipzig sinfonieorchesters, Artistic Director of the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1992–2002), and Artistic Advisor to the Beijing Music Festival. Since 2003 he has held the position of Artistic Director of the Sinfonia Varsovia with which he has developed a wide range of projects.
He also regularly works with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Iuventus – both of which he has recorded several albums with – Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2014, Anna Schmidt filmed a long documentary film on Penderecki’s music and life, “Paths through the Labyrinth”.

Conducting engagements of the 2018/19 season include the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan and Hiroshima symphony orchestras, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern and Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa.

Recent highlights include the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Staatskapelle Weimar, Dresdner Philharmonie, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Sinfónica di Galicia, the closing concert of the 2017 Prague Spring Festival (Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra), and a tour of Latin America including concerts with Orquesta Sinfônica del Estado de São Paulo.

Over the years, Penderecki has garnered numerous awards both as composer and conductor – his most recent accolade is a fifth Grammy Award (2017) for Best Choral Performance (he was previously awarded in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2013).

Other awards include the Grand Art Prize from the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia (1966), Prix Italia (1967), Sibelius Gold Medal (1967), Polish Composers’ Association Prize (1970), Prix Arthur Honegger (1977), Sibelius Prize of the Wihuri Foundation and National Prize of Poland (both in 1983), Premio Lorenzo il Magnifico (1985), University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition (1992), Prize of the International Music Council/UNESCO (1993), Music Prize of the City of Duisburg (1999), Cannes award “Living Composer of the Year” (2000), Premio Príncipe de Asturias (2001), Romano Guardini Prize of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria (2002), and the Praemium Imperiale (2004).

Since 1990, Penderecki has held the Grand Cross for Distinguished Services of the Order of Merit in Germany and Chevalier de Saint Georges.
In 1995 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, and in 1998 a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
He was made Commander of the Three Star Order in Riga, Latvia in 2006 and is a member of the Order of the White Eagle in Poland. Krzysztof Penderecki is honorary doctor and honorary professor of numerous international universities.

Sayaka Shoji /Violin

Sayaka Shoji

Educated in Siena at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana and Cologne at the Hochschule für Musik Köln under Zakhar Bron, the Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji has been described by Gramophone magazine as “a formidable musician, able to draw on huge reserves of stamina and the unflinching equal of anything thrown at her.”
Shoji was the youngest and first Japanese violinist to win the Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999 and since then has established strong connections with world renowned conductors including; Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvi, Osmo Vänska and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Highlights last season included tours to Japan with The Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev and concerts with Noseda and Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Other highlights include a tour with the NHK Symphony Orchestra for Mendelssohn’s Double concerto with Vikingur Olafsson conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich with Yutaka Sado and the new Würth Philharmoniker with Leo Hussain.
A prolific recording artist, the violinist has recorded a number of albums for Deutsche Grammophon, including the full violin sonatas by Beethoven, and more recently with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov concertos by Sibelius and Beethoven. With Yutaka Sado and the Tonkunstler Orchester, Shoji has recently released a live disc of Bernstein’s Serenade recorded in the Musikverein in Vienna. Other live recordings include sonatas by Mozart, Schubert and Brahms recorded live with Menahem Pressler in April 2014.

Sayaka performs regularly with her long-time mentor and supporter, Yuri Temirkanov and most recently appeared as the only non-Russian musician to perform at his 75th birthday gala concert in St Petersburg. The pair have toured extensively with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra to much of Europe, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the USA. The 2018/19 season will again see Sayaka join the SPPO and Temirkanov for concerts in Rome, Udine, Bari and Milan playing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto as well as a tour in Japan. She will make debuts with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Klaus Makkela and the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn with Dirk Kaftan. Sayaka will work with Krzysztof Penderecki performing his concerto with Orchestra Metropolitana de Lisboa.

In a change to her usual performance practice, Sayaka has also created an experimental visual art project, ‘Synesthesia’ where she mixes music and colours with the aim to transform her musical perception into different forms.

In January 2016, Sayaka received the Mainichi Art Award, one of Japan’s most prestigious awards presented to those who have had a significant influence on the arts.
Sayaka plays a 1729 Recamier Stradivarius which is kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.




Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra (HSO) started as ‘Hiroshima Civic Symphony Orchestra’ in 1963. The orchestra was renamed the current name in 1970. Since becoming a professional orchestra in 1972, HSO is trying to send the peace message by music,as the Orchestra of Hiroshima, the International Peace Memorial City.

Past Concert Artists