The Augusta Symphony in Georgia has announced the appointment of SHIZUO Z. KUWAHARA as music director, effective July 1, 2009. Only the third conductor named to that post in the ASO’s 55-year history, he recently won first prize in Germany’s Sir Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition. Kuwahara has guest conducted widely in the U.S. and Japan, and has served as artistic director and principal conductor of Tokyo’s IPPO Philharmoniker; as associate conductor of the Virginia Symphony; as a conducting fellow at The Philadelphia Orchestra through the American Conducting Fellows Program of the League of American Orchestras; as assistant to Valery Gergiev at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo; and as an assistant to Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto. Kuwahara has also served as professor of music and director of orchestral activities at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C. A native of Tokyo, he studied conducting at Yale University, at Eastman School of Music, and in a variety of leading summer programs. His teachers have included David Effron, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Timothy Muffitt, and Michael Jinbo.

Posted March 25, 2009