Photo, above: Taichi Fukumura conducts Mozart's Don Giovanni with the Northwestern University Opera Theater in February 2018. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

The Solti Foundation U.S. has selected doctoral candidate Taichi Fukumura ’17 MMus as a recipient of the Sir Georg Solti Career Assistance Award. Fukumura is one of 15 recipients of this award for 2021. He is student of Professor Victor Yampolsky, Bienen School director of orchestras.

The Solti Foundation awards recognize American citizens or permanent residents of the United States, 38 years of age or younger, who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting. 

Founding Music Director of the Accompanietta Orchestra, Fukumura also serves as Director of Orchestras at Merit School of Music, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Northwestern Medical Orchestra, and Cover Conductor for the Chicago Philharmonic. He is the newly appointed Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Summer Opera in 2021.

Fukumura’s recent season highlights include conducting Beethoven Symphony No. 5 with Orchestre Prométhée in the Paris Conducting Workshop with AJMADAC (France’s Association for Young Musicians and Development of Arts and Culture) and an invitation to compete in the Ferit Tüzün International Conducting Competition in Adana, Turkey (postponed by COVID-19 to October 2021). 

In June 2021, Fukumura will conduct the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Japanese composers Toru Takemitsu, Yasushi Akutagawa, and Akira Miyoshi, with violinist Azusa Tashiro as soloist. In September 2021, he will assist Music Director Mei-Ann Chen and the Chicago Sinfonietta at the Ravinia Festival in a program featuring works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Arturo Marquez. As Assistant Conductor with the Chicago Summer Opera, he will assist in full productions of Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Handel’s Silla during the summer of 2021.

Prior engagements include guest conducting in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Community Chamber Concert Series and serving as Staff Conductor at Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Fukumura has led full productions of Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Northwestern University Opera Theatre. He also served as an Emerging Conductor Fellow of the Peninsula Music Festival, assisting Music Director Victor Yampolsky. Following a season as Assistant Conductor for the Boston Civic Symphony, he was promoted to Associate Conductor. 

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Fukumura grew up in Boston and began music studies at age three on the violin. Professionally trained on the instrument, he received a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Boston University, where he studied with Peter Zazofsky and attended the Royal College of Music in London as part of a study abroad program. Switching his focus to conducting, Fukumura received his Master of Music in conducting from Northwestern University under the tutelage of Victor Yampolsky. Additional conducting studies include the Pierre Monteux School and Festival with Michael Jinbo, and the Hong Kong International Conducting Workshops under Jorma Panula, Christoph Poppen, and Yip Wing-sie.

  • conducting
  • Victor Yampolsky