Artistic Director

Yutaka Kono

Yutaka Kono
Dr. Yutaka Kono, was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra. He is also the conductor of Vermont Youth Philharmonia of Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, and is the Director of Orchestra/Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Vermont.

Dr. Kono was born in Tokyo, Japan and began studying piano at age of 7. He began playing the tuba in middle school, and continued when he came to the US as an exchange student. He received a Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a Master of Music from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Then, he became the first person ever to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Tuba performance from The University of Texas at Austin. While pursuing the tuba degrees, Dr. Kono also studied piano, composition and conducting. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra (TX) which he conducted the season opening concerts from 2007-2011.  Dr. Kono previously taught at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. He has studied conducting with Jerry Junkin, Mark Kelly, Eugene Dowdy, Peter Bay and Silas Huff. Dr. Kono was selected to attend the Summer Conductors Institute at the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Maestro Neil Varon and conducted the Rochester Philharmonic. He was placed as a finalist for The American Prize for orchestral conducting at the college/university level, and earned Bronze Medal of the Global Music award for his composition "Mamma at the Gate" in summer 2014. He studied composition with Alex Lubet, Stephan Paulus, and Donald Grantham.

Dr. Kono is a highly active performer on tuba. As a soloist, he is the winner of the concerto competition held at the University of Minnesota and performed with several orchestras and bands in Vermont, Ohio, Minnesota, Texas and Tokyo. As a chamber musician, he performed with the Austin Symphony Brass Quintet, Austin City Brass, Austin Brass Ensemble, and a jazz ensemble--Tina Marsh’s Creative Opportunity Orchestra. He was the principal tubist of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (TX), and his orchestral credits include the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Kingsville Symphony Orchestra (TX), San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, New Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra, Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra and many others. His diverse interest has led him to perform with non-classical ensembles ranging from Jazz, Dixieland to Rock and Klezmer. He studied the tuba primary with Ivan Hammond, Ross Tolbert, Steven Bryant and Robert Lindahl, and has also done additional studies with Daniel Perantoni, Harvey Phillips, Donald Little, David Zerkel, David Saygers, Paul Hunt, and Eichi Inagawa. Yutaka has attended Keystone Brass Institute and Harmony Ridge Brass Center where he worked with Warren Deck. He completed a solo tour of Japan in summer 2011 which included a solo performance with Musashino Chamber Ensemble.

Internationally recognized as a pedagogue on low brass and a strong advocate of music education, Dr. Kono has taught hundreds of students, and provided over 40 clinics. His students have competed regionally, nationally and internationally, and have shown impressive results.

Dr. Kono’s recent conducting highlights include: the World Premiere performance of Flight by Marcus Karl Maroney; the TAMUK Faculty Chamber Ensemble on William Walton’s Façade and a performance of Vermont Counterpoint with the UVM Flute Ensemble at the presence of the composer, Steve Reich. He has also served as guest conductor clinician for the Regional Orchestras in the South Texas and Vermont, and is a sought after conductor for Chamber Ensembles. His book and transcriptions are published from Tuba Euphonium Press, Cimarron Press, and Linus Publications. He is a member of ITEA, Pi Kappa Lambda, the College Music Society, College Orchestra Directors Association and the Conductors Guild.