Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy and Festival started in 1980 as the first summer music academy and festival in Japan, by the famous Violinist, Koji Toyoda as Music Director, and Kazuyuki Toyama as General Manager.
Firstly, the concept of a summer music academy was established with the aim to provide Japanese young Musicians with opportunities to learn directly from the World’s top-level Musicians. Then the idea of celebrating a music festival came up at the same time, because it is a great chance to see the top Musicians performance in live. The festival should also provide an excellent learning opportunity to the students of the Academy.
Mr. Toyama, the General Manager when this event started, and the Music Director from the 11th to 30th of the Academy and Festival, said “ The Academy, from its very inception, had sought to allow every participant to release themselves from the day to day routine of music-life and enjoy the opportunity to discover music on their very own”. The Academy’s purpose is not only to learn techniques, but to ponder very own meanings of music through direct personal contact with distinguished Artists. In its over 30 years of history, many students have become professional Musicians. Concerts by the Academy professors are held every day during the period. The programs of each day’s concert are selected in accordance with each year’s theme and audience from various places enjoys the music in Kusatsu’s beautiful nature.
In 2010, Composer, Akira Nishimura assumed the responsibility of Music Director, and the Academy and Festival moved into a new age. Kusatsu International Academy and Festival will look for further development, continuing to preserve its over 30 years’ history and heritage.