Illinois Symphony Orchestra Appoints Taichi Fukumura as Music Director

Categorized: Press Releases

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Trevor Orthmann
217-522-2838 x1
torthmann@ilsymphony.org

Beth Wakefield
217-522-2838 x4
bwakefield@ilsymphony.org

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra (ISO) announces the appointment of Taichi Fukumura as Music Director effective July 1, 2024. Mr. Fukumura emerged with unanimous support of the ISO’s search committee, board of directors, musicians, audience members and donors through an extensive search process lasting two years. Four exceptional finalists selected from an international pool of candidates led the orchestra in multiple performances during the 2023-2024 season.

“I am elated that Taichi Fukumura will be the ISO’s next Music Director. His love of music spans many genres which will help us reach new audiences who may not be familiar with orchestral music. Taichi understands the role that music plays in bringing communities together and he has the unique ability to communicate the power music has on people when speaking to audiences. He is excited to begin his tenure with the ISO and we look forward to introducing him to the community leading up to our opening concerts in October and throughout our exciting 2024-2025 season. Please take the time to introduce yourselves to him as he is sure to become a prominent cultural leader in central Illinois,” says Dr. Daniel Brownstone, ISO Board President and Co-Chair Music Director Search Committee.

“I am thrilled to join the Illinois Symphony Orchestra as its next Music Director. Getting to know this dynamic organization last season has already been such a joy, and I look forward to continuing our shared musical journey. There is tremendous dedication and engagement from every aspect of the ISO family: from the musicians, the staff, the board, our supporters, and the incredible communities of Springfield and Bloomington/Normal. The ISO plays an important role in the life of these communities, and I am honored to join this organization. I can’t wait to work together to share inspiring musical experiences with central Illinois and beyond,” states Mr. Fukumura.

“Taichi Fukumura will be a fantastic Music Director of the ISO. His youthful energy, collaborative spirit, outstanding musicianship, and seriousness of purpose make him the clear favorite with the orchestra. The musicians thoroughly enjoyed our work with Mr. Fukumura this season and look forward to many thrilling concerts in the years to come,” said percussionist Jeremy Brunk, ISO musician and member of the Music Director Search Committee.

Secretary of the ISO’s Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Music Director Search Committee Dr. Patricia Rushing added, “In concluding a two-year international search, we are pleased to have Taichi Fukumura as the next Music Director of our ISO! From an invited field of eighty world class conductors and innovators, Taichi emerged as our top choice as he impressed our musicians with his inspiring leadership on the podium, engaged our audiences through exciting interpretations of classical and contemporary works, and impressed the search committee with his passion for making the orchestra a vital and vibrant part of our community. The upcoming season promises to be one you should not miss!”

Director of Orchestral Studies at Tianjin Juilliard School and ISO Artistic Advisor to the Music Director Search Committee and former Music Director Ken Lam shared, “I am thrilled that the ISO has chosen Taichi Fukumura as its next music director. I wish him and the orchestra the best, and I have no doubt that Taichi will bring in an exciting new chapter for the ISO and the community. I look forward to hearing wonderful things in the months to come!”

Executive Director Trevor Orthmann states, “The musicians and staff of the ISO are excited to begin working with Taichi to energize and inspire our central Illinois communities through a multitude of exciting performances and programs the Symphony provides each season.”

Taichi Fukumura is a rising Japanese American conductor acclaimed for his dynamic stage presence and musical finesse. He is the Second Prize Winner of The Mahler Competition 2023 and a four-time recipient of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award 2021-2024.

Taichi Fukumura will make his first appearance with the ISO at the start of the 2024-2025 season on Friday, October 18, 2024, in Springfield and Saturday, October 19, 2024, in Bloomington-Normal. The ISO will celebrate 32 years of LIVE music during the 2024-2025 season.

Save the dates to listen LIVE to your Illinois Symphony Orchestra during our 2024-2025 season!

Symphony Orchestra
Friday, October 18, 2024 @ 7:30 PM | UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, October 19, 2024 @ 7:30 PM | ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Symphony Orchestra
Friday, November 8, 2024 @ 7:30 PM | UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, November 9, 2024 @ 7:30 PM | ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Holiday Pops in the Heartland
Friday, December 13, 2024 @ 7:30 PM | UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, December 14, 2024 @ 7:30 PM | ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Chamber Orchestra
Friday, January 17, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL
Saturday, January 18, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IL

Symphony Orchestra
Friday, February 7, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, February 8, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Family Pops Concert
Friday, March 7, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, March 8, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

Chamber Orchestra
Friday, April 4, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | First Presbyterian Church, Springfield, IL
Saturday, April 5, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IL

Symphony Orchestra
Friday, May 2, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | UIS Performing Arts Center, Springfield, IL
Saturday, May 3, 2025 @ 7:30 PM | ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Normal, IL

[ Dates subject to change ]

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is central Illinois’ largest professional orchestra serving over 35,000 patrons in the communities of Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and the surrounding region with symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, and Concerts for Kids series in each community. In addition to concert performances, the Orchestra's music education and outreach programs serve pre-K and elementary schools through the Itsy Arts and Music Matters education programs and reach middle schools, high schools, universities, community organizations and senior centers through guest artist residencies and musician and ensemble performances. The ISO also has an active Around the Town Chamber Music Series and virtual Sunday at Six Recital Series. The Illinois Symphony Orchestra has a budget of approximately $1.4 million.

In July 2020, the ISO acquired the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony (SVYS) organization that was started in the early 1970s by parents, music teachers and musicians to keep string programs and youth orchestra in Springfield and surrounding communities following the elimination of all school orchestra programs. Now, the Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestras (ISYO) programs consist of Starter and Junior Strings, Preparatory Orchestra, Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra serving over 300 students. The ISO also has a partnership in education and community engagement (PEACE) with the UIS-School of Music and Illinois State University’s Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

Additional information about the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is available at www.ilsymphony.org.

The ISO is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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