Sat September 21 | 7:30 PM

The Music of Studio Ghibli

Celebrate the magic of Studio Ghibli and the enchanting music that brings it to life with Eugene Symphony, perfect for fans and the whole family!


September 21, 2024 7:30 PM

The Music of Studio Ghibli

Nicholas Sharma, conductor

Joe Hisaishi
| Howl's Moving Castle: Symphonic Variation "Merry-Go-Round+Cave of Mind"
| Spirited Away Suite
| Selections from Kiki's Delivery Service (Symphonic Suite)
| My Neighbor Totoro (Orchestra Stories)

Conjure the animated universe of Hayao Miyazaki’s acclaimed and award-winning films with the spellbinding music of Joe Hisaishi. Featuring music from My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service, Eugene Symphony presents music of legendary Studio Ghibli favorites in a symphonic performance, led by conductor Nicholas Sharma.

About Nicholas Sharma

Nicholas Sharma

Canadian-American conductor Nicholas Sharma was just appointed the Assistant Conductor of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony Youth Orchestra for the 2024-25 season. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Orchestral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Neil Varon, as well as a Masters in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Oregon, studying with David Jacobs.

This past year, Sharma has made his conducting debuts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Sharma served as the conducting fellow for the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Oregon Mozart Players. In 2019, Sharma was the Albert Tipton Conducting Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and has also participated in several prestigious conducting workshops and festivals, including the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the New World Symphony Orchestra and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. He has worked with renowned conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Stephan Denève, Neeme Järvi, and Robert Spano.

Before his conducting studies, Sharma earned a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance studying with violinist Oleh Krysa.

About Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi

He started to show his interest in minimal music when he was a student at Kunitachi College of Music, and started his career as a contemporary music composer.

Presentation of MKWAJU in 1981 and the release of his first album Information in the following year was the kickoff of his career as a solo artist. Since his debut, he has released nearly 40 solo albums, including MinimalRhythm (2009), Melodyphony (2010) and the latest solo album MinimalRhythm 4 (2021). In February 2020, he global released a collection album entitled Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi and Songs of Hope: The Essential Joe Hisaishi Vol. 2 on Decca Gold. The first CD Symphonic Celebration released from Deutsche Grammophon (June 2023) hit the first prize on US Billboard Classical Albums & Classical Crossover Albums Chart twice.

Starting with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Hisaishi has produced music for Hayao Miyazaki films, including My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and The Boy and the Heron (2023). He also composed the music for HANA-BI (1998) directed by Takeshi Kitano, Departures (2008) directed by Yojiro Takita, Villain (2010) directed by Sang-il Lee, The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) directed by Isao Takahata, What A Wonderful Familly! series (2016/2017/2018) directed by Yoji Yamada. He has collaborated on the music production of over 80 films at home and abroad. His works have won many awards including several Outstanding Achievement in Music prizes of Japan Academy Film Prize, Spirited Away (won the Outstanding Music in an Animated Feature Production at the 30th Annie Awards), Korean film Welcome to Dongmakgol (won the Best Original Film Music Award of the 4th Korean Film Award) and Chinese film The Postmodern Life of My Aunt (won the Best Original Film Score of the 27th Hong Kong Film Award), Our Time Will Come (won the Best Original Music of the 12th Asian Film Award).

In 2001, he made his debut as a film director with Quartet, taking charge of the theme music and co-writing the script. The film was officially invited for the World Competition section of the Montreal World Film Festival. In May 2004 at Cannes International Film Festival, Hisaishi became the first Japanese musician who conducted an orchestra, performing The General (representative work of Buster Keaton) at the film concert.

In July 2004, he assumed a post of first music director of New Japan Philharmonic “World Dream Orchestra (W.D.O.)”, newly formed orchestra project by New Japan Philharmonic. In September 2014, he has been working as a producer and conductor, and holding contemporary music concerts called “JOE HISAISHI presents MUSIC FUTURE”, which concert series earned him enormous popularity and records as a live album. Since 2017, he also starts to present world tour “Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki” (visiting Paris, Melbourne, San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Prague, etc.). In July 2019, he also started leading a concert series “Future Orchestra Classics (FOC)” and released Beethoven: Complete Symphonies that was given “Special Prize” from 57th Record Academy Award Japan 2019.

In recently years, he works as a classical music conductor and also composed new works in a contemporary music style, including Contrabass Concerto (2015), The East Land Symphony (Symphony No. 1) ( 2016), Asian Symphony (2017), The Border Concerto for 3 Horns and Orchestra (2020), Symphony No. 2 (2021) , Metaphysica (Symphony No. 3)(2021) and Viola Saga (2022).

Hisaishi has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Philip Glass, David Lang, Mischa Maisky, and orchestra such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony Orchestra among others.

Hisaishi serves as an Invited Professor at Kunitachi College of Music. In 2009, he received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon and The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2023 by the government of Japan. In 2016-2018 seasons, he assumed the Artistic Director of Nagano City Arts Center. He holds two positions, as Music Partner with New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra which started in September 2020, and as Principal Guest Conductor with Japan Century Orchestra, which started in April 2021. Joe Hisaishi was appointed as Composer-in-Association of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2024, and is the Music Director designated with Japan Century Symphony Orchestra starting from April 2025. (via)

Health & Safety

The health and safety of Eugene Symphony audience members, musicians, and staff members has been and will always be our top priority. We strongly welcome and encourage patrons who wish to continue wearing masks while attending performances to do so. We want all of our attendees to feel comfortable and accepted in your choice. You take care of you, we'll take care of the music and ensuring that your experience attending a Eugene Symphony concert remains exceptional.

For the most up to date health and safety protocols for our concerts, visit our Eugene Symphony Safety page.

LOCATION: Hult Center for the Performing Arts


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