Keitaro Harada, a former associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony, has won first prize in this year’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. He will receive $30,000.
Harada, who was on the Richmond Symphony roster in the 2014-15 season, is currently music director of the Savannah Philharmonic in Georgia and associate conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. He also was associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Arizona Opera, and was among the young conductors mentored by the late Lorin Maazel in the music festival that Maazel staged at Castleton, his estate in Virginia’s Rappahannock County.
The Solti competition, based in Frankfurt, Germany, was launched in 2002 to recognize and promote the careers of conductors aged 38 or younger. (Harada, 38, just made the age cutoff.) Past prizewinners include Tomáš Netopil, James Gaffigan and Tito Muñoz, who guest-conducted the Richmond Symphony over the weekend.