Japan’s most influential composer of film and classical music – Joe Hisaishi – has been appointed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) as its Composer-in- Association, with effect from 6 April 2024.

Joe Hisaishi is a revered Japanese composer who produced all the music for the magical Studio Ghibli animations of Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. The appointment follows a successful collaboration on the ‘Symphonic Celebration’ album released on the Deutsche Grammophon label, after which the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra invited Joe Hisaishi to become its Composer-in-Association. The three-year appointment will include new commissions for the RPO, concerts in London and around the world, studio recordings as well as Maestro Hisaishi’s involvement in new digital and technology based RPO projects.

This appointment is the latest in a series of strategic additions to the RPO’s leadership team – following the appointment of Sarah Bardwell as the RPO’s new Managing Director and the recently appointed Director of Artistic Planning & Partnerships, Tom Philpott.

The coming together of Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra marks the start of a very special partnership. This weekend’s RPO concerts with Joe Hisaishi in Paris have sold more than 37,000 tickets and the RPO/Hisaishi Royal Albert Hall concerts later this year have already sold out.

Tom Philpott, Director of Artistic Planning and Partnerships at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome Joe Hisaishi to the RPO – an enormously talented conductor, composer and pianist and a ground-breaking artist in terms of opening up the world of orchestral music to more diverse audiences. Maestro Hisaishi’s arrival will make a significant contribution towards realising the RPO’s mission to enrich lives through orchestral experiences that are uncompromising in their excellence and inclusive in their appeal.’ 

Joe Hisaishi commented: ‘I am deeply honoured to become Composer-in-Association with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  I am very much looking forward to collaborating with this wonderful Orchestra on some very exciting projects.’

Kleopatra Sofroniou, General Manager Classics, Deutsche Grammophon adds: “The team at DG congratulates Joe Hisaishi on this exciting new artistic partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. We are pleased that Joe’s collaboration with the Orchestra on his debut album for our label was the start of something bigger – and it’s wonderful that news of this new relationship comes on the same day as we announce Joe’s second DG album “Joe Hisaishi in Vienna,“ including world premiere recordings of two of his newest compositions.”