The incredible story of Hideo Saito, the orchestra leader who created a stir in japan

15 Jun 2016 in Discover Japan

Hideo Saito is certainly unknown to you, yet he is one of the greatest music teachers that Japan has ever known. Discover his thrilling history !

Hideo Saito Photo

Hideo Saito is certainly unknown to you, yet he is one of the greatest music teachers that Japan has ever known.  Today, his teaching methods are still applied in the school he co-founded and an orchestra was even created by two of his students to pay tribute to him on the tenth anniversary of his death in 1984.

Ideo Saito Kinen Orchestra

Born in 1902, Hideo Saito started playing the cello before embarking on his formal training at the age of 20 years. Passionate about string instruments, he trained firstly in Japan before going to Germany where he would meet eminent teachers. He would learn a lot from these great masters. From being a distinguished musician, he would become a very great conductor due to the teaching that he received from one of them, Maestro Rosenstock.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto Exterior

After leaving his position of first solist in the New Symphony Orchestra in 1941, Hideo Saito devoted himself to orchestras conducting, but also to children education within the Gakuen Music School, filling a gap according to his thought.

Hotel lobby design Hoshino Resorts Kai Matsumoto
The great musician didn’t accept that younger should have to wait high school or university to be properly formed to music. He could thereby pass on his knowledge and develop methods for teaching music in Japan with an overall method, incorporating the requirement and rigour necessary to make each musician progress so that the orchestra then benefitted from it.

Private concert luxury hotel

To pay tribute to him, two of his pupils, Seiji Ozawa and Kazuyoshi Akiyama, decided to bring together musicians that Saito had trained within the same orchestra. Thus, it was in 1984 that the Saito Kinen Orchestra was born. The group quickly went on a world tour and had such success that a festival came into being in 1992 at Matsumoto in the Japanese Alps. Nowadays, this festival still takes place every year and is a great success with the general public.

In order to reflect this annual event, Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto holds intimate jazz or classical music concerts in the hotel lobby. It is a great opportunity for guests to be able to enjoy a violin, piano, or string concert in a superb setting, additionally providing clean acoustics to enhance the sound of the instruments and hence increase the audience’s experience. A unique moment of relaxation and grace to relish with a glass of wine or champagne perhaps?

Photo credits Seito Kinen Orchestra

Photo credits Hideo Saito : Osawa Festival


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