Kazushi Ono cherishes music’s power to bring people together. His manner in rehearsal, quiet and calm, exudes qualities of openness and receptivity. The conductor conveys complex messages in performance with effortless expressive gestures and a wisdom informed by his inexhaustible passion for making and exploring music with others. It is in his nature to unwind after conducting by playing through passages from the evening’s programme at the piano. Music, in short, has supplied the essential spirit of life since childhood.
Kazushi Ono is Music Director of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and since September 2018, Artistic Director to the New National Theatre Tokyo. Recent highlights include Honegger’s Jeanne au Bûcher, his last production in Lyon as its musical director, the acclaimed creation of Hermann’s Der Mieter premiered in Frankfurt Opera and Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel premiered in Warsaw and revived in Aix Festival in a production directed by Tremlinsky.
From 2008 to 2017, Kazushi Ono maintained his position as Principal Conductor of Opéra National de Lyon, during which he attracted international critical acclaim with landmark performances of works such as Prokofiev’s The Gamblers, Berg’s Lulu and Wagner’s Parsifal, thus reinforcing the company’s reputation for creating a series of new productions, including the compelling double bill of Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero and Schoenberg’s Erwartung (2013); Beethoven’s Fidelio, in Lyon and at the Edinburgh International Festival (2013); Britten’s Peter Grimes and The Turn of the Screw (2014); Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande , Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust (2015), and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2016).
Following his tenure as Principal Conductor in Lyon, he was awarded ‘Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by French cultural minister Françoise Nyssen, a further distinguished title adding to the prestigious Asahi Prize, given in January 2015, for his contribution to Japanese society. This award distinguishes individuals who have greatly contributed to the development and progress of Japanese culture and society at large.