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​Toshifumi Kanai

Resident conductor
Szolnok City Symphony Orchestra, Hungary


Since 2020, resident conductor of Szolnok City Symphony Orchestra
With the broad range of repertoire from the traditional masterpieces to contemporary music, conductor Toshifumi Kanai has made appearances in the music scenes in Japan, Hungary and the other cities in Europe.

Kanai is thrilled to conduct Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Berliner Philharmonie with Belriner Symphony Orchestra in February 2019, making it his debut performance in Berlin. He is going to conduct the same symphony with Salzburg Orchestra Solisten in Wien State Opera House in july 2024.

Kanai was invited as a guest conductor of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra at the Kuopio Music Center, to start the new season in 2017, making it his debut performance in Finland.  There, Kanai received standing ovation from the audience.

In 2016, Kanai received the special award from Mrs. Elżbieta Penderecka, the wife of Krzysztof Penderecki, at the Aram Khachaturian International Conducting Competition in Armenia. In December of the same year, he was given an opportunity to perform Penderecki’s work in the presence of the composer.

Since 2014, Kanai has conducted various orchestras such as Hungary State Opera Failoni Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Budapest Orchestra,  Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV, Hangary State Miskolc Symphony Orchestra, Kecsikemet Symphony Orchestra, Danube Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Armenia State Symphony Orchestra. Kanai also worked as an internship assistant conductor at the Budapest Operetta Theater.

He completed the master’s degree in Music at the Liszt Academy of Music in June 2015, with the highest honors. He was the first foreign student in the history of the Liszt Academy of Music, who graduated from the conducting department. At the Academy, Kanai studied Orchestral Conducting with Ádám Medveczky, András Ligeti and Tamás Gál. His main piano teachers include László Tihanyi, László Erdely. While studying at Academy, he attended Kurt Masur and Jolma Panula’s Conducting master class and received high honors.

Prior to moving to Hungary, Kanai earned the Bachelor of Music and master’s degree in Music from the Toho Gakuen School of Music and the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Japan.

He studied the orchestral conducting with Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Ken Segoe Nanao Yamamoto, Bassoon with Kouei Asano, the piano with Yoshimi Tamaki, Kanae Kowada and Solfege with Takako Asano, Takeshi Matsuno.


While studying at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Japan, he attended the world premiere of Opera “Kouya Hijiri”, which was composed by Shinichiro Ikebe as an assistant conductor. He was also invited by many orchestras and ensembles of different genres of music, including Pro Musica Nipponia, Senzoku New Philharmonic Orchestra. He also served as a conductor in the “Wonder Kinder Concert”, a project that was launched by Kouei Asano.

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