Savannah Philharmonic’s Keitaro Harada receives one of Japan’s Highest Musical Honors

 Keitaro Harada, conductor for the Savannah Philharmonic, received the Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award last month in his native Japan.

This award is presented each year to two promising young musicians – one a conductor, as in Harada’s case, and one a cellist. In addition to international recognition, the award includes a plaque and a significant financial prize of about $50,000.

The Sony Music Foundation established the Hideo Saito Memorial Award in 2002 to honor the late Saito, a renowned cellist, conductor and educator.

“We are so excited to see Keitaro receive this award, further proof of the international quality of musical talent the Savannah Philharmonic brings to our mission of building community through music,” said Dr. Amy Williams, SavPhil’s executive director.

The committee said it selected Keitaro because of his vast musical knowledge and training gained from living abroad and training under wonderful mentors. It cited the courage he shows as music and artistic director of the Savannah Philharmonic and how he has improved the importance of music in the Savannah region.

Harada is now in his third year with the Savannah Philharmonic. Previously, he completed his fourth and final season as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops. He has performed extensively in Asia, Europe and North America.