Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra

The birth of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center

On January 17, 1995, the Hanshin and Awaji region, in which the city of Kobe (pop. 1.5 million) is located, was hit by a great earthquake. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake claimed the lives of over 6,400 people and caused serious economic damage estimated at 9,926.8 billion yen. But even while experiencing difficulty accessing just the bare necessities, residents in the stricken region renewed their awareness of the special role that cultural and artistic events had played in their lives.
During the decade following the great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995, the courage, persistence, and compassion of Hyogo’s local residents brought about a miraculous renewal of the devastated region. Embodying the hope for a bright future for the community, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center (HPAC) opened in 2005 as a symbol of the spiritual and cultural rebirth of the region. HPAC has now established itself as Japan’s leading cultural institution attracting both domestic and internationally renowned performing art groups to its stages. In August 2019, 14 years since the inauguration, it has proudly welcomed its 7 millionth audience.

About the Orchestra

The birth of the Orchestra

The Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra (HPAC Orchestra) has been established as a resident orchestra exclusively affiliated with Hyogo Performing Arts Center under artistic direction of Yutaka Sado. During a three-year term, 48 international core members under the age of 35 engage in a variety of performance opportunities including full orchestra and chamber orchestra concerts, a fully-staged opera, and chamber ensemble performances of standard and modern repertoire. They are joined in these performances by leading conductors, guest players and coaches from around the world. The HPAC program offers professional development for Core Members through master-classes and private lessons with visiting artists.

Our home

The Hyogo Performing Arts Center has opened as a symbol of the psychological and cultural rebirth of the region. The Center is a new hub of artistic and cultural activities, with its three state-of-the-art halls-the Grand Hall (2,001 seats), the Theater (800 seats), and the Recital Hall (417 seats)-capable of accommodating concerts, operas, ballets, plays and various other performing arts events. The internationally known conductor Yutaka Sado serve as the Artistic Director and the Artistic Advisor, respectively. Concurrently with the opening of the Center, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, an ensemble of young, brilliant professional musicians selected by Mr. Sado through competitive worldwide auditions, was established. His intent is to create an international orchestra with the “freshest” talents in the world.
By organizing various programs, offering its facilities to the public, and presenting a wide range of cultural activities, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center aspires to expand the network of artistic interactions and creative activities within Japan and throughout the world.

Three Fascinations of the HPAC orchestra

  • The Orchestra, led by forward-looking Artistic Director, Yutaka Sado, proclaims the dawn of a new era of classical music.

  • The HPAC Orchestra presents a galaxy of brilliant young musicians selected through very competitive worldwide auditions.

  • Vigorous young musicians demonstrating fresh mode of expression and a spirit of challenge.


Exclusively affiliated with the Center, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra performs concerts in the Grand Hall conducted by its Artistic Director Yutaka Sado and other internationally acclaimed conductors and featuring soloists. Regular concerts offer interesting repertoire, including baroque, romantic and contemporary music. Other special concerts feature familiar pieces appealing to people of all ages. Recital Hall, performances include chamber orchestra and chamber music concerts, featuring a broad repertoire with various instrument combinations. In addition, the orchestra provides music appreciation concerts to first-year junior high school students in Hyogo Prefecture, and conducts outreach activities outside of the Center to interact with local residents, so that musical culture will take firm root in the local communities.

  • Subscription Concerts

    The subscription concerts are conducted by artistic director Yutaka Sado, as well as with internationally acclaimed guest conductors and soloists, and an attractive repertoire from classical to contemporary is held in various sizes. At the subscription concerts, all nine concerts a year are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you purchase a 9-time pass ticket, you can receive special benefits and services as a regular member.

  • Special Concerts

    In addition to subscription concerts, we also hold special concerts with familiar contents such as pops concerts and family concerts. In the “Recital Series”, we feature the members selected by audition held within orchestra to showcase their soloistic performances.

  • Chamber Concerts

    At the Recital Hall, we provide ambitious chamber music works from baroque to contemporary. In the “Chamber Music Series” that has been continued since the birth of the HPAC Orchestra, each section of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments develops elaborate programs with soloists.

  • Youth Concerts

    At the Grand Hall, we hold concerts for all first-year students of public junior high school in Hyogo prefecture. It started in 2006 with the idea of Artistic Director Yutaka Sado, “I want adolescent students to come into contact with the live orchestra.” About 45,000 students watch the performance every year.

  • Outreach Concerts

    With the aim of making people who have difficulty visiting the concert venue familiar with live music, we organize an ensemble of about 1 to 10 members from the core members, and jump out of the HPAC to interact with local residents. We have visited various places in Hyogo prefecture, such as elementary schools, public halls, and welfare facilities.

  • Other Concerts

    Taking advantage of the characteristics of the Center’s exclusive orchestra, we actively perform in various program held at the Center, such as opera, ballet, and Silvester concerts. The HPAC Orchestra is responsible for performing at the Opera produced by Yutaka Sado in every summer.