YUZO TOYAMA (conductor)
Yuzo Toyama studied composition at the Tokyo College of Music (now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music). While still a student in 1951 he won a prize at the 20th Mainichi Music Competition for his Trio for clarinet, bassoon and piano. On graduating in 1952 he joined the NHK Symphony Orchestra as trainee percussionist and in 1954 was accepted as conducting assistant. He made his debut as a conductor in September 1956, since when he has appeared as guest conductor with many leading orchestras. He studied in Vienna between 1958 and 1960, receiving instruction in the masterclasses held by Erich Leinsdorf at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1959. He travelled on a world tour with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 1960, visiting twelve countries in Europe. He thereafter built up a reputation not only as a conductor but also as a composer, especially through his work Rhapsody for Orchestra. He conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra at the fortieth anniversary concert of the United Nations in New York in 1985 and has frequently represented Japan overseas both as a conductor and a composer. He has also been invited overseas on many occasions as a guest conductor and as a member of adjudicatory committees. He was awarded the 12th Otaka Prize in 1963, the 1st Arima Prize in 1981 and the 14th Suntory Music Prize in 1983. He is currently chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra and musical director of the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra.