Dr. Yutaka Kono is the Director of Orchestra and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Vermont. He is also the Artistic Director of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and the conductor of Vermont Youth Philharmonia of Vermont Youth Orchestra Association.
Dr. Kono was the first person ever to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Tuba performance from The University of Texas at Austin, where he also studied piano, composition, and conducting. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra (TX) where he conducted the season opening concerts from 2007-2011. Dr. Kono previously taught at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. He has studied conducting with Jerry Junkin, Mark Kelly, Eugene Dowdy, Peter Bay, and Silas Huff. Dr. Kono was selected to attend the Summer Conductors Institute at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Maestro Neil Varon and conducted the Rochester Philharmonic. He studied composition with Alex Lubet, Stephan Paulus, and Grantham.
Internationally recognized as a pedagogue on low brass and a strong advocate of music education, Dr. Kono has taught hundreds of students, and provided over 40 clinics. His students have competed regionally, nationally, and internationally, and have shown impressive results.
Groups accompanied: Dr. Kono is a highly active performer on tuba. As a soloist, he is the winner of the concerto competition held at the University of Minnesota and performed with several orchestras and bands in Vermont, Ohio, Minnesota, Texas, and Tokyo. As a chamber musician, he performed with the Austin Symphony Brass Quintet, Austin City Brass, Austin Brass Ensemble, and a jazz ensemble: Tina Marsh's Creative Opportunity Orchestra. He was the principal tubist of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (TX), and his orchestral credits include the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Kingsville Symphony Orchestra (TX), San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, New Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra, Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra and many others. His diverse interest has led him to perform with non-classical ensembles ranging from Jazz, Dixieland to Rock and Klezmer. He studied the tuba primarily with Ivan Hammond, Ross Tolbert, Steven Bryant and Robert Lindahl, and has also done additional studies with Daniel Perantoni, Harvey Phillips, Little, David Zerkel, David Saygers, Paul Hunt, and Eichi Inagawa. Yutaka has attended Keystone Brass Institute and Harmony Ridge Brass Center, where he worked with Warren Deck. He completed a solo tour of Japan in summer 2011 which included a solo performance with Musashino Chamber Ensemble. Most recently, he has performed with Champlain MetalWerx, a tuba/euphonium quartet.
Recent conducting highlights: the world premiere performance of "Flight" by Marcus Karl Maroney; the TAMUK Faculty Chamber Ensemble on William Walton's Façade and a performance of Vermont Counterpoint with UVM Flute Ensemble at the presence of the composer, Steve Reich; guest conductor clinician for the Regional Orchestras in South Texas and Vermont; the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and Burlington Choral Society's 2015 performance of Handel's "Messiah"
Dr. Kono in the news:
- 12/16/20: "As Of Then": A Massive, Experimental, Creative Collaboration
- 2/19/20: "Yutaka Kono to conduct Orchestra of Central Tokyo's inaugural concert"
- 9/18/19: "Yutaka Kono Places 3rd in American Prize for Conducting"
- 8/16/18: "Yutaka Kono: Accomplished tuba player leads the orchestra" - Shelburne News
- 2/18/18: "Work: Yutaka Kono, Musician, Conductor and Tuba Teacher" - Seven Days
- 10/27/17: "Burlington Chamber Orchestra celebrates women" - Times Argus
- 3/23/17: "Faculty Feature: Yutaka Kono" - University Communications
- 4/4/16: "Symphony’s leader discusses the collaborative art of conducting" - University Communications
- 12/16/15: "Hallelujah! It's time to get a Handel on Messah" - Seven Days
- 1/28/15: "UVM's Yutaka Kono is the BCO's new artistic director" - Seven Days