Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo

21-25 October 2024

Conductor: Sebastian Weigle
Soloist: Christian Tetzlaff (violin)


Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra was founded in April 1962 by three members of The Yomiuri Group – The Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper company, Nippon Television Network Corporation, and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.

Sebastian WEIGLE has been the orchestra’s Principal Conductor since April 2019, and the orchestra has YAMADA Kazuki as Principal Guest Conductor (until March 2024), Juraj VALČUHA as Principal Guest Conductor designate (from April 2024), SUZUKI Masato as Associate Conductor & Creative Partner, Sylvain CAMBRELING as Conductor Laureate, OTAKA Tadaaki as Honorary Guest Conductor, and KOBAYASHI Ken-ichiro as Special Guest Conductor. 

Since its foundation, YNSO worked regularly with Willem van OTTERLOO, Kurt SANDERLING, Kurt MASUR, Heinz RÖGNER, Gennady ROZHDESTVENSKY, Gerd ALBRECHT, Rafael FRÜHBECK de BURGOS, and Yuri TEMIRKANOV. YNSO also has invited distinguished conductors including A. KHACHATURIAN, L. STOKOWSKI, S. CELIBIDACHE, L. MAAZEL, and Fabio LUISI and world-renowned soloists such as A. RUBINSTEIN, S. RICHTER, M. ARGERICH, Yo-Yo MA, G. KREMER, and MIDORI. Recently, YNSO has performed with I. POGORELICH, Rudolf BUCHBINDER, Pierre-Laurent AIMARD, Isabelle FAUST, Renaud CAPUÇON, Antoine TAMESTIT, and Daniel LOZAKOVICH, to name only a few.

YNSO currently has seven major concert series in Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka, and some performances are broadcast on television through Nippon Television Network and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.

Since its first overseas tour to North America in 1967, YNSO has been to Europe on tour seven times, most recently in March 2015, performing successfully in Berlin, Warsaw, Cologne, Utrecht, and Brussels. The orchestra was invited to represent Asia at the Festival de Musica de Canarias on the Canary Islands in 2000, and in the same year, YNSO became the first Japanese orchestra to perform in the annual Abonnement series at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. 

In April 2017, YNSO saw its 55th anniversary and performed Messiaen’s opera “Saint François d’Assise” in concert style with CAMBRELING. It was the Japan premiere as a full-length performance and was highly acclaimed by people in various fields, receiving the 49th Suntory Music Award.

In addition to its classical repertoire, YNSO has been active in introducing contemporary works composed by internationally prominent composers. Other prizes and awards the orchestra has received include the National Festival Prize (1968), the National Arts Festival Excellent Award (2000), the Yoshio Sagawa Music Award (2004), and the Grand Prize of the 77th Agency for Cultural Affairs National Arts Festival (2022).

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Sebastian Weigle, conductor

Sebastian Weigle has been principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo since the 2019 season and will conduct in 2023/24 Eisler’s German Symphony, Stravinsky’s Firebird, Beethoven’s Pastoral, Schumann’s Frühlingssinfonie, Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and Elektra in concert. Other concerts will take him to the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with Das Lied von der Erde, the Oslo Philharmonic with Brahms’ German Requiem, and the Copenhagen Philharmonic with Brahms’ 2nd Symphony.

In the opera world, he will return to the Vienna State Opera with Strauss’ Daphne and to the Bavarian State Opera with Wagner’s Tannhäuser. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin, he will lead the new production of Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame.

After several highly successful productions at Oper Frankfurt — including Die Frau ohne Schatten, which brought him the nomination for “Conductor of the Year“ of the prestigious journal “Opernwelt” in 2003 — Sebastian Weigle became Music Director at the beginning of the 2008/09 season, a post he will hold until 2022/23. In his last season in Frankfurt, he conducted the new productions of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, R. Stephan’s Die ersten Menschen and Strauss’ Elektra.From 2004 to 2009 he was also music director at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona where, in 2005, his Parsifal was awarded “Best Production of the Year” and, in 2006, Mr. Weigle himself was awarded “Conductor of the Year“ based on his conducting of Die tote Stadt. In the summer of 2007, he made his debut at the Bayreuther Festspiele with a new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Mr. Weigle’s many guest engagements have taken him to the opera houses of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Zurich and Mannheim, to the Wiener Staatsoper as well as the Volksoper, the New York Metropolitan Opera, and Tokyo. On concert stages he has conducted renowned orchestras such as the Radio Orchestras of Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Stuttgart, the Bamberger Symphoniker, and all the major Scandinavian orchestras. Mr. Weigle has conducted worldwide, giving concerts in such cities as Tokyo, Chicago and Melbourne.

Several CD recordings capture Mr. Weigle’s work on Beethoven, Mozart, Rott and many other composers. In 2012, his Ring des Nibelungen production of the Oper Frankfurt appeared on DVD (Oehms-Classic).

Born in 1961 in Berlin, Sebastian Weigle studied horn, piano and conducting at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler and was appointed Principal Horn of the Staatskapelle Berlin in 1982. In 1987 he founded the Chamber Choir Berlin and was artistic director of Neues Berliner Kammerorchester. He later became music director of the Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg, in 1997. From 1997 to 2002 he was Staatskapellmeister at the Berliner Staatsoper.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Christian Tetzlaff, violin

Christian Tetzlaff is one of the most sought-after violinists and most exciting musicians on the classical music scene. Concerts with him often become an existential experience for the interpreter and audience alike, old familiar works suddenly appear in a completely new light. In addition, he frequently turns his attention to forgotten masterpieces such as Joseph Joachim’s Violin Concerto or the Violin Concerto No. 22 by Giovanni Battista Viotti, a contemporary of Mozart and Beethoven. To broaden his repertoire, he also commits himself to substantial new works, such as Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, which he premiered in 2013. With devotion he cultivates an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts every year.  

In the 2023/24 season, Christian Tetzlaff appears with the world’s foremost orchestras. In Europe, he performs with Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de chambre de Paris and Orchestre National de France, among others. He also appears on stage with the most renowned English ensembles: with the Philharmonia Orchestra Tetzlaff gives performances in Grafenegg and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra he appears at the BBC Proms. He returns to Chamber Orchestra of Europe, undertakes two tours to Korea and Europe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and records Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic. In the US, he returns to Cincinnati Symphony orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Christian Tetzlaff is regularly invited as Artist in Residence to present his musical views over a longer period of time, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Dresdner Philharmoniker. In the 2021/22 season, he was given this honour at London’s Wigmore Hall and in 2022/23 he was “Portrait Artist” of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Over the course of his career, Christian Tetzlaff made guest appearances with all the great orchestras, including the Wiender Philharmoniker and New York Philharmonic, the Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam and all the London orchestras. He worked with legendary Maestri such as Sergiu Celibidache, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Christoph von Dohnányi. Close artistic ties have also been forged with Karina Canellakis, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Francois Xavier Roth, Robin Ticciati, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Barbara Hannigan, Ed Gardner, Ingo Metzmacher and Kent Nagano.

In 1994, Christian Tetzlaff founded with his sister the cellist Tanja Tetzlaff his own string quartet, and to this day chamber music is as close to his heart as his work as a soloist with or without orchestra. In recital, this season he appears with Kirill Gerstein in the USA, including dates at New York’s Carnegie Hall, in Washington and Boston. Each year he undertakes at least one tour with the Tetzlaff Quartett, with concerts this season at Berlin’s Boulez Hall, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Vienna’s Musikverein and BOZAR Brussels. The Tetzlaff Quartett was awarded the Diapason d’or in 2015, and the trio with his sister Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2016. The trio’s last recording of works by Schubert was only released after Lars Vogt’s untimely passing, and was awarded the OPUS Klassik for best chamber music recording in 2023.

Christian Tetzlaff has also received numerous prizes for his recordings, including the “Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” and the “Diapason d’or” in 2018 as well as the Midem Classical Award in 2017. Of special significance is his solo recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, which he has recorded for the third time and was released in September 2017. The Strad magazine praised this recording as “an attentive and lively answer to the beauty of Bach’s solos”. The Ondine label released the recording of the Beethoven and Sibelius violin concertos in autumn 2019, followed by Brahms and Berg in August 2022 – both with the Deutsches SymphonieOrchester Berlin conducted by Robin Ticciati.

Born in Hamburg in 1966 and now living in Berlin with his family, there are three things that make this musician unique, aside from his astounding skill on the violin. He interprets the musical manuscript in a literal fashion, perceives music as a language, and reads the great works as narratives that reflect existential insights. As obvious as it may sound, he brings an unusual approach in his daily concert routine.

Christian Tetzlaff tries to fulfill the musical text as deeply as possible – without indulging in the usual technical short-cuts on the violin – often allowing a renewed clarity and richness to arise in well-known works. As a violinist Tetzlaff tries to disappear behind the work – and paradoxically this makes his interpretations very personal.

Secondly, Christian Tetzlaff “speaks” through his violin. Like human speech, his playing comprises a wide range of expressive means and is not aimed solely at achieving harmoniousness or virtuosic brilliance. 

Above all, however, he interprets the masterpieces of musical history as stories about first-hand experiences. The great composers have focused on intense feelings, great happiness and deep crises in their music; Christian Tetzlaff, as a musician, also explores the limits of feelings and musical expression. Many pieces deal with nothing less than life and death. Christian Tetzlaff’s aim is to convey this to his audience. 

Significantly, Tetzlaff played in youth orchestras for many years. In Uwe-Martin Haiberg at the Lübeck Music Academy, he had a teacher for whom musical interpretation was the key to mastering violin technique, rather than the other way round. 

Christian Tetzlaff plays a violin by the German violin maker Peter Greiner and teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy.

He lives in Berlin with his wife, the photographer Giorgia Bertazzi, and three children.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster



+44 (0) 20 7957 5873


+44 (0) 20 7957 5800


+44 (0) 7733 113652