Japan’s Orchestra Day reflects country’s deep appreciation for orchestras

Posted on: April 6, 2015

In Saturday’s (4/4) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed writes that throughout Japan families “flocked to the concert hall” on March 31, Orchestra Day, when “every orchestra in the country puts on family-friendly concerts with inexpensive tickets…. Each of the dozen professional orchestras that operate in the greater Tokyo area had booths.… The day ended with an early evening concert by a Festival Orchestra that included players from all the Tokyo orchestras.… Japan loves orchestras, and Tokyo is the orchestra capital of the world. Within the city limits there are nine major orchestras and six large concert halls….  Orchestra Day was an idea of the Assn. of Japanese Symphony Orchestras, a support group modeled after the League of American Orchestras in the U.S…. It began nine years ago, and March 31 was chosen because the Japanese pronunciation of the date is similar to that of the word for ‘ear.’ … There are complaints that too much of the country’s orchestral life is concentrated in Tokyo…. But audiences remain large, and attending a concert in Tokyo is pure pleasure. You will not find more attentive or appreciative listeners anywhere. People exit clutching packets of colorful fliers for upcoming programs. The lines for autographs from performers are always long.”

Posted April 6, 2015

Trying out a musical instrument is just one of the activities that takes place on Japan’s Orchestra Day. Photo by Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras