Visiting Artist

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Reona Ito, conductor,

 

 
 
“Mr. Reona Ito is an inborn, talented and highly promising conductor whom, without doubt, critics and music lovers will start to talk about very soon.”  - Rafael Nektalov, music critic & editor-in-chief of Bukharian Times (originally in Russian)

Mr. Reona Ito was born into a musical family of three generations of conductors in Fukuoka, Japan. He was taught violin and piano at the age of four by his parents and grandfather, and composed music for orchestra at the age of eight.  Mr. Ito came to the United States in 1997 in order to study international politics at the George Washington University. After graduating the university in 2002, however, he eventually decided to become a professional musician and moved to New York City to study music intensively. 

Mr. Ito holds a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs and also in music at the George Washington University.  After composition and conducting study at The Juilliard School, he received a diploma in orchestral conducting from Mannes College of Music and a Master of Arts in orchestral conducting from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY.

On March 18th, 2008, Mr. Ito made a debut as an opera conductor with W. A. Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" at the Goldstein Theatre, and also made a Carnegie debut on June 25th in the same year. These concerts were reviewed by multiple newspapers and magazines. Among them, Ongaku no Tomo ("Musician's Friend"), one of the most famous and authentic music journals in Japan, says; "[In the Reona Ito's Carnegie concert] he conducted all from memory, and showed the audience his sincerity toward music”. In December, Mr. Ito produced the “Mostly Bach Concert Series” in Manhattan, and gave three Bach concerts with his ensemble at Lincoln Center and Yamaha Hall. In March 2009, he invited his mother’s orchestra from Japan into New York, and held a joint concert with them at Symphony Space. An excerpt of the concert was broadcasted in Japan by NHK, the second largest public broadcasting company in the world.

Mr. Ito is presently the Music Director of the Reona Ito Chamber Orchestra & Chorus.  He is also the Associate Music Director of the Chikuho Youth Orchestra (Japan) established by his grandfather.  In addition to several invitations as a guest conductor in Europe including the New Symphony Orchestra at Sophia, Bulgaria, Mr. Ito has also become the music director of Zagreb Sinfonietta in Zagreb, Croatia from 2011. In August 2012, Mr. Ito and Zagreb Sinfonietta were invited by three leading summer music festivals in Croatia such as Rovinj Music Festival, and performed at famous venues including the Euphrasian Basilica, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In March 2013, he conducted Mozart’s Requiem in Zagreb, Croatia, for the concert celebrating the 20th-Year Anniversary of Japan-Croatia Diplomatic Establishment under the patronage of the President of Croatia.

Despite his scarce connection with the homeland, Mr. Ito was invited to conduct the February 2013 Carnegie Hall concert of The University of Tokyo Alumni Choir, one of the choruses that have the longest tradition and history in Japan.  His leading of the Reona Ito Chamber Orchestra performing the Cherubini’s Requiem in D minor reached more than 2000 audiences, and was complimented by many including the Tokyo Alumni Choir itself.  

Mr. Ito studied under Maurice Peress (Kansas Philharmony / Queens College), Uros Lajovic (Professor in Ordinary, the University of Music & Performing Arts, Vienna, Austria), Rossen Milanov (Philadelphia Orchestra), Harold Farberman (Conductors’ Institute at Bard), and Carl St. Clair (Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra).