World-renown conductor signs agreement for 5 more years with Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra
Heiichiro Ohayama, music director and conductor of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra for more than 30 years, has signed another five year contract with the chamber orchestra.
“We are thrilled to have Heiichiro continue to conduct our exceptional musicians,” said Executive Director Kevin Marvin. “His legacy is inspirational. He has opened the doors for our musicians to play with world-class soloists and has fostered Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra musicians who have gone on to careers at the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and other world-acclaimed ensembles.”
Michelle Kim, one of Mr. Ohyama’s former students and former violinist with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, currently plays as Acting Principal Associate Concertmaster with the New York Philharmonic.
“I basically grew up under Heiichiro’s mentorship, ever since I was 11,” Ms. Kim said. “His musicianship, incredible leadership and true love of music is something to be admired, as he also shares that with others.
“Without him, I would never be here,” she added. “I am indebted to him — to his ongoing leadership and contribution to me as a musician. I’m just thankful for who he is and what he has done for me.”
In addition to his work with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Ohyama has played as principal violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has been appointed conductor the Youth String Orchestra of the Crossroads School for Sciences and Arts and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has also been the artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society’s “SummerFest;” artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; principal chief conductor of Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan, and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra; and music director of Nagasaki Music Festival.
Mr. Ohyama taught at the University of California as a professor of music for 30 years. In 2005, he received the “Fukuoka City Cultural Prize” and in 2008, the “Outstanding Performance Award” from the Japanese Government.
The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra strives to maintain the highest artistic quality possible, produce the finest music heard in Santa Barbara and perform well-known repertoire as well as music written in this century. Conducted by Heiichiro Ohyama, the Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1978 by then-conducting student Jeffrey Evans. Current and past SBCO musicians perform with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Pacific Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony and Santa Barbara Symphony. For more information, visit www.sbco.org.