Nodoka Okisawa has been appointed 14th Chief Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. During her initial three-year term starting in March 2023, she will lead the renowned Japanese orchestra in subscription, education and family concerts.
She is the winner of the renowned Concours international de jeunes chefs d'orchestre de Besançon 2019, where she was awarded the Grand Prix, the Orchestra Prize and the Audience Prize. In 2018, she won the Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting, one of the most important international conducting competitions.
From 2020 until 2022, Nodoka Okisawa has been a scholarship holder at the Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker and assistant to Kirill Petrenko. In addition to her own concert projects together with the academy members of the Berliner Philharmoniker she conducted the Solidarity Concert for Ukraine with members of the Berlin Philharmonic at the invitation of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace in March 2022. Another highlight has been the joint anniversary concert with Kirill Petrenko for the 50th anniversary of the Karajan Academy in May 2022.
Following her debut with the Münchner Symphoniker in November 2021, Nodoka Okisawa will return to the podium as Artist in Residence in the 2022/23 season and can be experienced in a variety of concert formats.
Highlights of the current season include her subscription debuts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig and the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich among others. She also regularly conducts the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.
At the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival 2022, the 30th anniversary edition of the festival, Nodoka Okisawa gave her debut with the Saito Kinen Orchestra conducting W.A. Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" in a production by Laurent Pelly to great acclaim.
She has attended numerous master classes, amongst others with Neeme and Paavo Järvi and Kurt Masur. In both 2019 and 2020 she was selected for the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy in Tokyo. She gained further experience in the past as assistant conductor of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and in opera productions in Japan and Europe. In November 2020, she conducted a production of Lehár's The Merry Widow at the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Theatre.
In 2023, Nodoka Okisawa was awarded the "Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award" by the Sony Music Foundation.
Born in 1987 in Aomori, Japan, she learned piano, cello and oboe since early childhood. She studied conducting at the Tokyo University of the Arts with Ken Takaseki and Tadaaki Otaka and graduated with a master’s degree. In 2019 she obtained her second master’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin under Christian Ehwald and Hans-Dieter Baum. Nodoka Okisawa lives in Berlin.