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The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (東京佼成ウインドオーケストラ Tōkyō Kosei Uindo Ōkesutora ?, abbreviated TKWO) is a professional concert band that has long been regarded as one of the world's finest, perhaps rivaled only in recent years by the Dallas Wind Symphony (USA).

TKWO was established in 1960 by the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei Kai at its headquarters in central Tokyo. TKWO Is highly active, both within Japan and abroad, as a professional touring and recording ensemble. Its members include some of the finest woodwind, brass, and percussion players in Japan.

From 1984 to 1996 the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra was directed by renowned American maestro Frederick Fennell, and since 2000 it has been directed by British conductor Douglas Bostock.[1] TKWO has released more professional recordings than any other wind orchestra in the world, numbering in the hundreds of album titles. It has also played an active role in the commissioning of original works for wind band by both Japanese and foreign composers. Japanese composers whose works have been championed by TKWO include Yasuhide Ito, Hiroshi Hoshina, Tetsunosuke Kushida, Akira Miyoshi, Michio Mamiya, Bin Kaneda, Masamichi Amano, Toshiro Mayuzumi, Toshio Mashima, Isao Matsushita, and many others. Guest conductors of TKWO have included Alfred Reed, Arnald Gabriel, Robert Jager, Ray Cramer, and Craig Kirchoff, to name but a few.

The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra often performs in Fumon Hall, an enormous auditorium located on the campus of the Rissho Kosei Kai religious organization in central Tokyo. Fumon Hall also regularly hosts the final level of the All-Japan Band Association national band competition. With nearly 14,000 participating bands (and around 500,000 contestants nationwide) the AJBA band contest is currently the world's largest music competition. TKWO is usually hired to make the definitive premier recordings of the required pieces commissioned each year for the enormous competition. TKWO is largely credited with defining the wind band idiom in Japan, where it is enthusiastically supported among school and community ensembles.

Further reading

  • David G. Hebert (forthcoming). Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools. Dordrecht and New York: Springer.
  • David G. Hebert (2001). The Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra: A Case Study of Intercultural Music Transmission. Journal of Research in Music Education, 49(3), pp. 212-226.
  • Roger E. Rickson (1993). Ffortissimo: A Bio-Discography of Frederick Fennell. Cleveland: Ludwig.
  • Tim Willson (1986). Japanese Bands: What Makes Them So Good? Music Educators Journal, 72(5).


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