T A I C H I F U K U M U R A
C O N D U C T O R
B I O G R A P H Y
Japanese-American conductor Taichi Fukumura is in his second season with Chicago Sinfonietta as Project Inclusion Conducting Fellow. In this capacity, he works closely with Music Director Mei-Ann Chen and receives further mentorship from other leaders in the field. Additionally, he is the Director of Orchestras at Merit School of Music, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Northwestern Medical Orchestra, Cover Conductor for the Chicago Philharmonic, and founding Music Director of the Accompanietta Orchestra.
Equally adept in opera conducting, Fukumura has led productions of Britten’s Turn of the Screw as music director and conducted Mozart’s Don Giovanni as assistant conductor at the Northwestern University Opera Theatre. He has previously served as a staff conductor at Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras whose premiere orchestra annually performs a complete opera, and has led rehearsals of Puccini’s La Boheme.
Fukumura grew up in Boston and studied violin with Peter Zazofsky at Boston University where he received his Bachelor of Music. He began conducting at the age of 16, and proceeded to found the Accompanietta Orchestra during college. His highly acclaimed work with Accompanietta led to an invitation to conduct Stravinsky’s l’Histoire du Soldat with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in their Community Chamber Concerts. He also served as the Assistant Conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony where he was recognized for his ability to “create a sumptuous sound world” (Boston Music Intelligencer). He was named Associate Conductor in the following season and led the orchestra in 13 performances.
Fukumura received his Master of Music in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, where he continues to study with Victor Yampolsky in completing his doctoral degree. He also studied at the Pierre Monteux School and Festival, and was an Emerging Conductor Fellow of the Peninsula Music Festival in 2017.
As the Director of Orchestras at the Merit School of Music, Fukumura conducts the Merit Philharmonic and Merit String Orchestra and brings refreshing energy and imagination to music education in the 21st century. Outside of Merit, he serves as a part-time lecturer at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and has been invited to lead rehearsals for orchestras at Boston University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of St. Francis, and Columbia College Chicago.
Fukumura connects various sections of the Chicago medical community as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Northwestern Medical Orchestra, bringing medical students, professionals, researchers, patients and families together through music-making. He has led world-premieres of works written by local doctors, and performed in Chicago Millennium Park as part of an event with the National Institutes of Health. As the son of a cancer-researcher and a harpsichordist, medicine and music have always been closely intermingled subjects in his life. He is driven by the belief that while medicine helps to prolong lives, live-music promotes well being and profoundly influences quality of life.
Updated September 23, 2020