Hirokami is Out at Columbus Symphony Orchestra

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The conductor and music director of the Columbus Symphony has left the financially troubled orchestra. News that Junichi Hirokami would not return to the CSO podium came after the board of trustees received notice from Hirokami on Thursday.

It’s not clear whether Junichi Hirokami was forced to resign or left voluntarily. Hirokami who lives in Japan had commuted to Columbus since 2006. During recent budget cutting, Hirokami had criticized the board, siding with musicians. Martin Inglis is the new chairman of the symphony board of trustees.

“We received a letter from Junichi saying that it has been his great honor to serve the Columbus symphony orchestra however whichever way you interpret it he either believes he has been dismissed or that he has resigned but bottom line he has thanked us and will not be returning,” Inglis says.

The news was a blow, but not unexpected, to the orchestra’s musicians. Doug Fisher is their union representative.

“Maestro Hirokami was just a very exciting musician very relaxed and competent on the podium always very energized and that in turn spread to the musicians and we were able to play with an equal amount of energy in response,” Fisher says.

Board chairman Martin Inglis says the orchestra will begin searching for a new conductor.

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