Kazushi Ono conducts Brussels Philharmonic © Lars Bauwens (detail) View full image

Kazushi Ono

Kazushi Ono Conducting TMSO
© Rikimaru Hotta

Ono's contributions -the crystalline clarity he brought to the most complex texture's, meticulous highlighting of each important line, and his command of the overall architecture- contributed to making this a rewarding experience even for those encountering the concerto for the first time.

Bachtrack, Dutilleux: L'Arbre des songes, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

My goal as a conductor is to liberate the musicians and let them make music. That is very important, because a conductor doesn’t make a single sound on their own. As a conductor, if musicians feel that you are concentrating on a conversation with the composer, it gives them the incentive to make music in a profound way’

Kazushi Ono

Kazushi Ono’s musical personality was formed by the cultures of Japan, where he was born, and Europe, where he studied. His work reflects both influences and crosses styles and forms, from Baroque to new commissions and from orchestral to opera. His passion, musical intellect and ability to communicate meaning across languages and cultures have led to longstanding relationships around the world. He is Music Director of Brussels Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Ono has also been recently renewed as Artistic Director of Opera at New National Theatre Tokyo until 2029/30. He was appointed in 2018 and his contract ended in 2020, making his tenure the longest in the theatre’s history.

He is passionate about new music and has commissioned many works and projects. He conducted Martin Matalon’s new score for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in screenings at the Philharmonie de Paris, and the premiere of Bernard Foccroulle’s Cassandra at La Monnaie. Ono is also passionate about exploring innovative concert experiences as part of his work with Brussels Philharmonic: a recent all-Strauss programme offered lighting and soundscapes alongside poems and haikus, between the musical works. In Japan, Ono will conduct the premiere of Widmann’s Horn concerto in 2025, commissioned by Berliner Philharmoniker, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Ono established himself internationally with orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Houston Symphony Orchestra, where his performance of Russian repertoire was described by the Houston Chronicle as ‘a first-rate concert steeped in stormy emotions, fragile beauty, and wide- screen grandeur’.


  • Music Director, Brussels Philharmonic
  • Music Director, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
  • Artistic Director, New National Theatre Tokyo

‘My ideal orchestral sound is one that grows upwards, like a great cathedral. To create this sort of dimensional sound, you need a steady foundation, beautifully constructed walls and many sonorities in between. When I work with an orchestra, I try to achieve this profound architecture’

Kazushi Ono

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