Organization: Music Director of Symphony Orchestra Augusta
Bio: Winner of first prize in the prestigious Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in Germany,
Shizuo Z Kuwahara is the music director of Symphony Orchestra Augusta (SOA), formally known as
The Augusta Symphony. Prior to SOA, Mr. Kuwahara’s was associated as a conducting staff with
Philadelphia Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Pacific Music Festival, Saito Kinen Festival,
IPPO Philharmoniker, College of William & Mary and American University.
In Philadelphia, he was an apprentice to the Music Director Christoph Eschenbach and lead the family and student concerts and covered additional performances. In summer of 2008, he was an assistant conductor at
Saito Kinen Festival, where he was an assistant to Seiji Ozawa and conducted Ozawa Jyuku Orchestra.
He spent his summer of 2006 in Sapporo, Japan where he was an assistant conductor of Valery Gergiev at
Pacific Music Festival.
Frequent guest conductor of the Japan Philharmonic, the Nagoya Philharmonic and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Mr. Kuwahara will make a debut with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Frankfurt Museum Orchestra this season. His past guest conducting appearances includes Tokyo Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Century Orchestra Osaka, Omaha Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Philharmonia Slaska, Sinfonieorchester den Nationalen Philharmonischen Gesellshaft der Uklaine Kiew, German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chattanooga Symphony and Baltimore Symphony.
In addition to winning the first prize at Solti Competition, he received second prize in the previous Solti Competition, third prize at Malko International Conducting Competition, an honorable mentions in Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting, Prokofiev International Conducting Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia and Fitelberg International Competition in Katowice, Poland with numerous additional prizes. He is also a recipient of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.
Born in Tokyo, Mr. Kuwahara studied conducting at Yale University, where he was awarded Charles Ives Scholarship and won Eleozar de Carvalho Prize, and at Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded George Eastman Scholarship, Performer's Certificate and Arts Leadership Program Certificate. His primary conducting teachers include David Effron and Lawrence Leighton Smith. Mr. Kuwahara has also studied with Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Timothy Muffitt and Michael Jinbo at various conducting institutions, including Aspen Festival, National Conducting Institute, Pierre Monteux School, and Chautauqua Music Institute.