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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Akiko Fujimoto

Assistant Conductor

Akiko Fujimoto

Akiko Fujimoto is increasingly recognized as one of the most dynamic and versatile conductors of her generation. She joined the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2017 as assistant conductor, after serving five and a half seasons as the associate conductor of the San Antonio Symphony. As assistant conductor, her role with the Minnesota Orchestra ranges from leading Young People’s Concerts and Symphonic Adventures for High Schools, family programs and outdoor community concerts to serving as cover conductor for Classical subscription and Live at Orchestra Hall concert performances. Additionally, she serves as a link to the community, participating in engagement activities, school visits, and collaborations with other Minnesota arts and cultural institutions.

While in San Antonio Fujimoto conducted classical, pops, education and baroque concerts as well as ballet. Highlights included the spring gala featuring violinist Gil Shaham in Brahms’ Violin Concerto, her debut on the Classics series with an all-French program, and productions of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker with Ballet San Antonio. 

As a guest conductor, Fujimoto has performed with the Houston Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony Orchestra and Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Additionally, she has conducted Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra as a participant in the Young Conductors Program and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the St. Magnus Festival. Prior to arriving in Texas, Fujimoto served as the conducting associate for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Fujimoto has extensive experiences working with young musicians, starting at Harvard University where she directed the Mozart Society Orchestra and at Stanford University, with her leadership of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. In Virginia, she held the positions of Director of Orchestras at the College of William & Mary and Music Director of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras.

Born in Japan, Fujimoto moved to the United States at age 14 and attended Stanford University where she studied music and psychology. She holds masters degrees in conducting from Boston University and the Eastman School of Music.