Japanese Conductor Taijiro Iimori Dies at 82

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Taijiro Iimori

Conductor Taijiro Iimori, a Person of Cultural Merit who worked at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany early in his career, died from acute heart failure on Tuesday. He was 82.

The funeral for Iimori, known for his excellent interpretations of Wagner and other composers, will be led by his nephew Shintaro Iimori.

The late conductor studied at Toho Gakuen College and then honed his skills in the United States. He was a music assistant at the Bayreuth Festival for more than 20 years from 1970. He took part in many major performances at the festival and received high praise. He gained further fame at opera houses in various German cities, including Bremen and Mannheim, where he learned traditional German and Austrian performance styles.

Iimori served as the artistic director of opera at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, from 2014 to 2018 and held posts at many orchestras, including the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also a member of the Japan Art Academy.

In April, he led the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra at what would be his final performance.