The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 45th anniversary with a concert, featuring Japanese violinist-conductor Ryu Goto, on November 15, 2018, at 8pm, at the historic Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila City.
With his technical credentials and musical flair, violinist-conductor Ryu Goto has established himself as a significant voice in classical music, with a large and growing following in Asia, North America and Europe.
Greatly influenced by electric guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Ryu is known for his aggressive, fiery style of playing.
Conductor Lorin Maazek once said that Ryu “has rightfully taken his place among the top echelon of today’s young performers.” Composer Tan Dun described Ryu as someone with “a deep understanding and appreciation of music coupled with natural talent, flair and impeccable technique make him a singularly world-class violinist and performer.”
Ryu began his profesional career at age seven when he made his debut at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, playing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.1. In 2011, he graduated from Harvard University with a bacherlor’s degree in Physics, and is currently studying violin with Prof. Ana Chumachenco.
Since then, Ryu has appeared as a soloist with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including National Symphony Orchestra (DC), London Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Sydney Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Hamburger Symphoniker and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
Ryu has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Sydney Opera House, Shanghai Grand Theater, Taipei National Concert Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal and the Philharmonic Hall Gasteig, performing with renowned conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Tan Dun, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, Kent Nagano, Myung-Whun Chung, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Jonathan Nott.
Early this year, Ryu celebrated Bernstein’s 100th anniversary with a performance of the composer’s masterpiece “Serenade,” with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. In March, he joined the New York Philharmonic touring Asia, under the baton of Maestro Jaap van Zweden. In addition, Goto gave a tour of 10 sold-out recitals throughout Japan in the summer of 2018.
Aside from being a violin superstar among his generation, Ryu is known for his philanthropic works. He has been working with student musicians throughout the world, mentoring their development and conducting master classes in conjunction with the world’s top institutions. His efforts include the “Ryu Goto Excellence in Music Initiative Scholarship,” with the NYC Department of Education, as well as collaborations with institutions such as the Juilliard School and the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. He does extensive musical outreach in developing countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.
The younger brother of the violinist Midori has been popular in his home country Japan. He starred in his own documentary “Ryu Goto’s Odyssey,” a chronicle of his career and personal life from 1996 to 2006. He served as spokesperson for the East Japan Railway Company. From October 2015 to March 2017, Ryu appeared in the TV Asahi’s weekly show Untitled Concert, which was listed in Guinness World Records as “the longest-running TV program for classical music.”
Ryu records for Deutsche Grammophon, in collaboration with Universal Classics Japan. A member of the US-Japan Council, Ryu has been honored with an award from the Japanese American Bar Association as a Japanese-American leader. He holds a 3rd degree black belt from the Japan Karate Association, and is fluent in multiple languages including English, Japanese, French and Chinese. Ryu performs on the Stradivarius 1722 violin “Jupiter” on loan to him from Nippon Music Foundation.
For his Philippine concert this November, Ryu will be performing and conducting Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Season and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, Op. 88, in G Major. The concert is also in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Manila Cathedral.
This served as his second concert in the country. In 2016, Ryu was the guest performer when Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura debuted as the PPO music director and principal conductor.
The PPO has also performed with Ryu, playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64, during the recently concluded Asia Orchestra Week 2018, which happened in Tokyo and Kuji, Japan.