Joe Hisaishi in Vienna – Out Now

Joe Hisaishi conducts the Wiener Symphoniker in the world premiere recordings of
his Symphony No. 2 and Viola Saga – with soloist Antoine Tamestit

Listen to Joe Hisaishi in Vienna here

A full performance of Viola Saga filmed at the Vienna Konzerthaus
premieres on 
STAGE+ tomorrow, 29 June 2024

Joe Hisaishi headlines at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 11, 12 & 13 July

Friday 28 June, BerlinDeutsche Grammophon is delighted to present Joe Hisaishi in Vienna – the world-renowned and multi-award-winning Japanese composer, conductor and pianist’s second Yellow Label album. Today’s release comes just two weeks before Hisaishi performs three headline shows on consecutive evenings at Madison Square Garden  a first for any classical artist. The concerts will feature music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki, with over 150 artists on stage at the historic New York venue each night.

Available now – digitally, on CD and on vinyl (2 LPs) – Joe Hisaishi in Vienna contains the world premiere recordings of the composer’s Symphony No. 2,captured live with the Wiener Symphoniker as part of his triumphant debut at the Vienna Musikverein in March 2023 (the full concert can be viewed on STAGE+), and his Viola Saga, with renowned soloist Antoine Tamestit. A special performance of Viola Saga filmed during the recording sessions at the Vienna Konzerthaus premieres on STAGE+ tomorrow, 29 June 2024.

An icon of the film world, Joe Hisaishi is known globally for his collaborations with Studio Ghibli creator and two-time Oscar-winner Hayao Miyazaki on such movies as Spirited Away, Princess MononokeMy Neighbor Totoro and, most recently, The Boy and the Heron (2023), for which the composer earned a Golden Globe nomination. His debut DG album, A Symphonic Celebration – Music from the Studio Ghibli films of Hayao Miyazaki, was one of last year’s best-selling classical albums worldwide.

Hisaishi has also garnered widespread respect for his wide-ranging catalogue of contemporary classical works, inspired by minimalism and the experimental writing of friends and colleagues such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Terry Riley, as well as by the rich musical heritage of Japan and Western classical traditions. Joe Hisaishi in Vienna focuses on this aspect of his work, highlighting the originality and versatility of his musical craftsmanship, and on his long-honed skill and sensitivity as a conductor.

The minimalist Symphony No. 2 uses subtle repetition to dramatic effect, its stark contrasts in rhythm and orchestral texture creating variation across its three movements. So pleased was Hisaishi with the Wiener Symphoniker’s Musikverein performance that he chose to include the live version on the album – and, just months later, returned to the Austrian capital to record his 2022 viola concerto with the same orchestra. The soloist in Viola Saga is French violist Antoine Tamestit, his warm sound and unsurpassed technique perfect for its changing moods and demanding writing. He has since gone on to give acclaimed live performances of the work with Hisaishi in Macao and Osaka.

Joe Hisaishi – upcoming tour dates:

28/29/30 June – Symphony Center, Chicago (Works by Hisaishi)

11/12/13 July – Madison Square Garden, New York City (Music from the Studio Ghibli Films)

5/6/7/8 September – Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco (Music from the Studio Ghibli Films)

14/15/17 November – Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (Works by Hisaishi)
23/24 November – Royal Albert Hall, London (Works by Hisaishi)

3/4/5 January 2025 – Verizon Hall, Philadelphia (Works by Hisaishi)