Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra
Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra
The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (東京佼成ウインドオーケストラ Tōkyō Kōsei Uindo Ōkesutora, abbreviated TKWO) is a professional concert band. It is widely considered as one of the world's finest, only to be rivaled by the Dallas Wind Symphony in the recent years.
TKWO was established in 1960 by the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei Kai at its headquarters in central Tokyo. Originally known as the Tokyo Kosei Symphonic Band, it was renamed in 1973 to reflect its growing professionalism and scale of activities. TKWO Is highly active, both within Japan and abroad, as a professional touring and recording ensemble. Its members include some of the finest woodwind, brass, and percussion players in Japan.
From 1984 to 1996 the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra was directed by renowned American maestro Frederick Fennell, and as of December 2014 is directed by Takeshi Ooi. TKWO has released more professional recordings than any other wind orchestra in the world, numbering in the hundreds of album titles. It has also played an active role in the commissioning of original works for wind band by both Japanese and foreign composers. Japanese composers whose works have been championed by TKWO include Yasuhide Ito, Hiroshi Hoshina, Tetsunosuke Kushida, Akira Miyoshi, Michio Mamiya, Bin Kaneda, Masamichi Amano, Toshiro Mayuzumi, Toshio Mashima, Isao Matsushita, and many others. Guest conductors of TKWO have included Alfred Reed, Donald Hunsberger, Arnald Gabriel, Robert Jager, Ray Cramer, Craig Kirchhoff, and Václav Blahunek.
The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra has often performed in Fumon Hall, an enormous auditorium located on the campus of the Rissho Kosei Kai religious organization in central Tokyo. Fumon Hall also regularly hosted the final level of the All-Japan Band Association national band competition until 2011. With nearly 14,000 participating bands (and around 800,000 contestants nationwide) the AJBA band contest is currently the world's largest music competition. TKWO is usually hired to make the definitive premier recordings of the required pieces commissioned each year for the enormous competition. TKWO is largely credited with defining the wind band idiom in Japan, where it is enthusiastically supported among school and community ensembles.
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