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Music Liberal-Arts


Tokyo College of Music celebrated its 115th anniversary in 2022. Nine commemorative concerts were held over two days at Suntory Hall, one of Japan’s foremost halls, attracting attention for their scale and quality.

As the oldest private music college in Japan, Tokyo College of Music has contributed significantly to the development of Western classical music in Japan. It created the very first symphonic orchestra in Japan which performed on the steamers of the Pacific from 1912 to 1929. By strengthening the faculty and expanding the campus facilities, Tokyo College of Music has been and will continue to be evolving. Now the college boasts a highly qualified and distinguished faculty of more than 600 with the entire student body, under the umbrella of Tokyo College of Music, of over 2,000 students. This includes some 1,400 undergraduates, 250 postgraduates, 170 high school students, 140 kindergarteners, and 120 Music Preparatory School students. The College’s facilities include the 806-seat 100th Anniversary Hall, B Studio with a baroque style pipe organ, J Studio, Synthesizer Lab, Recording Studio, library, TCM Hall, TCM Studio, TCM Student Dormitory for women and practice rooms.

Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra

The Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra has a long tradition and excellent reputation both nationally and internationally. Each year it holds concerts at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space and benefit concerts for UNICEF. Internationally it has performed in over 30 cities in Europe, the U.S.A. and China.
In 1993, the orchestra went on tour to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. The Washington Post and many other local newspapers praised their performances of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor with the master cellist Janos Starker and under the baton of maestro Junichi Hirokami, a college alumnus. The Washington Post described maestro Hirokami as a young conductor “who finished the evening with a lucid, animated and deeply interpreted reading.” The orchestra had previously received a letter of encouragement from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan before their departure. The college donated half of the total amount of ticket sales to UNICEF and the other half back to each performance venue.
The orchestra has also appeared at the Music Festival Argerich’s Meeting Point 2006 in Japan, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and No. 2, as well as Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. They received great praise from the festival’s director Martha Argerich, the cellist Mischa Maisky, the pianist Stephen Kovacevich, and the conductor Tatsuya Shimono.
Three years later, in 2009, the orchestra went on a 16-day benefit concert tour of Munich, Prague, Bamberg, and Vienna. The audiences were in disbelief that the orchestra was comprised of only college students. They commented that the music was truly professional with the orchestra having received standing ovations from the Viennese audience at the Musikverein Zaal. Proceeds from each concert were donated to the SOS Children’s Villages (SOS-Kinderdore.V.) in Munich and Bamberg, the Stiftung der Eheleute Livia und Vaclav Klaus in Prague, and St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung in Vienna.
In the following year, with maestro Myung-Whun Chung at the baton, the Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra performed Rigoletto receiving high praise from the maestro and leading music magazines in Japan. From March 22, 2012, the orchestra made a benefit concert tour to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria.

TCM Symphony Orchestra & Symphonic Wind Ensemble made the following overseas tours

70th Anniversary Goodwill Concert Tour to USA- Los Angeles & Sacramento/ California, Temple/ Arizona, and Coverllis/ Oregon.Conductor: Tadashi Mori
Goodwill Concert Tour to China-Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.Conductor: Tadashi Mori
Concert Tour to East and West Germany- Karl-Marx- Stadt, Gera, East Berlin, and Bonn.Conductor: Tadashi Mori
Concert Tour to Austria & Hungary-Vienna, Linz, Budapest, and DebrecenConductor: Tadashi Mori
Concert Tour to East and West Germany-Staßfurt and East & West Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Jena, Weimar, and Hoyerswerda.Conductor: Olaf Koch
Concert Tour to U.S.A.-Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.Conductor: Junichi Hirokami
Concert Tour to Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria-Munich, Prague, Bamberg, and Vienna.
Concert Tour to Teplice & Prague in the Czech Republic, Budapest in Hungary, and Graz in Austria.

Tokyo College of Music Symphony Orchestra past performance venues


  • The Palace of Arts, Budapest
  • Stefaniensaal, Graz
  • Musikverein Saal, Vienna
  • The Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Zeneakademia), Budapest
  • Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin
  • Gewandhaus, Leipzig
  • Herkulessaal, Munich
  • Smetana Hall, Prague
  • Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, Bamberg

North America

  • Symphony Hall, Chicago
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C.
  • Carnegie Hall, New York


  • Regis Hall, Beijing
  • Hangzhou Theater, Hangzhou
  • The Former Residence of Chen Yun and Qingpu Revolutionary History Memorial Hall, Shanghai

Tokyo College of Music Chorus

The Tokyo College of Music Chorus has been actively performing with professional orchestras both nationally and internationally. With the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, TCM Chorus has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in d-minor, “Choral” every year since 1979. Other pieces performed under this collaboration include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (Symphonie de psaumes)(conductor: Junichi Hirokami), Mozart’s The Great Mass in c-minor (Große Messe in c-Moll) (conductor: Alexander Lazarev), and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem (conductor: Kenichiro Kobayashi). With the NHK Symphony Orchestra, they have performed Mendelssohn’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ein Sommernachtstraum)(conductor: Jun Märkl) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 c-minor. “Resurrection” (Auferstehung)(conductor: Markus Stenz). Its performance of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung under the baton of Junichi Hirokami had an honor to be chosen to be the second most memorable performance of all of NHK Symphony Orchestra’s concerts during the year 2005.
In 1988 the TCM Chorus made its European debut at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Zeneakademia) in Budapest, performing G. Verdi’s Requiem. The chorus also performed G. Faure’s Requiem at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on the same tour. In 1998 the chorus collaborated with the Netherlands Philharmonic, performing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at Concertgebouw and at Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht.

Tokyo College of Music Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Established in 1970, the Tokyo College of Music Wind Ensemble has been performing for more than 40 years, both in Japan and abroad. It holds concerts annually at many main halls in Tokyo including Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo Cultural Center) and Orchard Hall, to name a few. It attracts audiences with its vibrant and dynamic performances of symphonic wind literature.
The ensemble has presented concerts and performed at festivals in over 30 cities across Japan. It has also played goodwill tours in the U.S.A. (1978) and China (1979) that were followed by European concert tours in the former nations West and East Germany (1981), Austria and Hungary (1983). For its contributions to cultural exchanges and friendly relations to other nations the college received a letter of appreciation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1994. In 2011, the ensemble had a very successful tour Taiwan,
earning much respect among music schools and musicians in the country.
The TCM Symphonic Wind Ensemble has a long recording history and is included on the historical compilation recording, “A 150 Year History of Japan Since the Black Ships Band”, which may be found on King Record records.

String Ensemble Endless

TCM Professor Emeritus and violist Toshiyuki Uzuka launched String Ensemble Endless in 1990, offering a great opportunity to perform in a string ensemble outside of school. Since then, Endless performs annually at various music venues in Tokyo such as Tsuda Hall, Suntory Hall (Blue Rose), Casals Hall, and Toppan Hall, garnering critical acclaim in each performance. Its repertoire spans from classical to contemporary with music by Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Respighi, Bloch, Yasushi Akutagawa, and Toru Takemitsu. The ensemble has recorded with Somei Sato on the CD Toward the Night, hitting the music charts in London.

Awards and achievements

Tokyo College of Music encourages students to enter competitions. Every year, students win numerous awards in Japan and abroad.

Message from Kenta Igarashi

37th Japan Wind and Percussion Competition, 2022
First Prize in the Saxophone Category
Prime Minister’s Prize
Special Grand Prize

I will bring happiness to people through the power of music!

Compared to other instruments, there are not so many saxophone competitions. Also, the categories of the Japan Wind and Percussion Competition change every year. Therefore, it felt like destiny that the saxophone category was held in the year I fled from Ukraine to Japan due to Russia’s invasion.
Japanese competitions are very important and special to me, as well as to many Japanese people. At Tokyo College of Music, I was able to keep practicing with satisfaction, surrounded by friends. I really enjoyed my lessons with Mr. Hatae, who helped me develop my musicality. Thanks to the support of my professors and many friends, I was able to win the competition and receive the Grand Prize. I will continue to face music sincerely and improve my musicality with my friends.
I hope that the war will end as soon as possible. I believe that those with a sense of well-being seek peace. All I can do is perform, so I will bring happiness to people through the power of music.

The competitions TCM students have won

TCM holds the annual Tokyo College of Music Competition, in which categories (strings/winds/percussion and piano/vocal) alternate each year. The college also holds a competition for students majoring in composition (Artistic Music Course) where the winners receive the President’s Prize.

Living in Tokyo

Tokyo College of Music is in the heart of Tokyo with easy access to main Concert Halls, which makes it an ideal place for students who love music to study at.

From Ikebukuro Campus
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space15 minutes on foot
  • Toppan Hall20 minutes by subway
  • Tokyo Bunka Kaikan25 minutes by train
  • Suntory Hall25 minutes by subway
From Nakameguro-Daikanyama Campus
  • Orchard Hall15 minutes by train
  • Suntory Hall25 minutes by subway