Join VSO Executive Director Elise Brunelle as she talks with the first Music Director candidate, conductor Akiko Fujimoto, discussing everything from Beethoven to Bushnaq, Fujimoto’s work alongside Osmo Vänska, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta, and Susanna Mälkki, the role of an orchestra in the second least populated U.S. state, and their shared status as being the slowest runner in elementary school P.E.
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ABOUT AKIKO FUJIMOTO
Akiko Fujimoto was named Music Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony in May 2019. Fujimoto has electrified audiences throughout North America and has guest conducted the National Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Lexington Philharmonic, and the Corpus Christi Symphony.
Fujimoto has also conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at St. Magnus Festival and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra as a participant in the Young Conductors Programme.
At the Minnesota Orchestra, Fujimoto served as Assistant Conductor for the 2017–18 season under Music Director Osmo Vänska and was promoted to Associate Conductor for the following two seasons. During the 2017–2020 seasons, Fujimoto also served as cover conductor for Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta, and Susanna Mälkki at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Prior to arriving in Minnesota, she was Assistant then Associate Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony and Conducting Associate for the Virginia Symphony.
A passionate advocate for young musicians, Fujimoto has held conducting appointments at Harvard University, Stanford University, and the College of William & Mary. While in Virginia, she also served as Music Director of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras. Born in Japan, Fujimoto holds a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from Stanford University and Master of Music degrees in conducting from Boston University and the Eastman School of Music.