HIROSHI ISAKA has a background as a choral conductor and arranger from his days at Doshisha University. He joined Japan Victor Company in 1964 as a salesman to start with. In 1966 he became A & R manager for classical music and a producer of pop records for the Philips label within the JVC organization. In 1968 JVC made him their classical producer and he started in earnest record production for classical music. From his connections with Philips artists he was introduced by Mr. Wolfgang Sawallisch to Mr. Walter Legge, EMI’s great producer, and Mme. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, from whom he learned a lot of precious things about this business.

For 5 years from 1968 to 1972 Isaka made the basic repertory for productions in the classical music department of JVC, working eminent musicians in and out of the country. Consequently, Isaka produced more than 150 LPs for JVC. Many of his productions received important Japanese awards.

When RCA label set up its own distribution independently from JVC in 1972 Isaka joined RCA and became their classical producer in addition to becoming A&R manager for the classical Erato label (which is distributed in Japan by RCA).

In 1973 Isaka started to make productions also in Vienna, making an exclusive contract with the Vienna String Quartet. However, increasingly Isaka became dissatisfied with his position in an international record company, as he was unable to produce the kind of artists and the kind of repertoire he wanted to record. His idea was to produce Japanese artists, Japanese compositions and international artists for Japan and the international market. As a consequence, he left RCA in 1978 and started his own company, Camerata Tokyo.

Camerata Tokyo is a company dealing with both concert management and record production to promote their artists through these two media. From 1980 placing his production’s center in Vienna, Isaka started recording with the Vienna String Quartet and Karl Leister. On the other hand, giving opportunities for recording to young and new artists from Europe, Isaka has introduced them enthusiastically not only to Japan but also to Europe and America. Numerous artists from Vienna and Europe who recorded for Camerata made tours of Japan through Camerata. For such distinguished services he was awarded the Austrian Cross Medal of Honor for Science and Art in 1995. In 1996 the Austrian Bruckner Association awarded Isaka the Bruckner Gold Medal for his services in the production of the complete Bruckner Symphonies with the Linz Bruckner Orchestra. In 2003 Nippon Steel Arts Foundation awarded a Special Music Prize to Isaka for his various activities in the musical world.

1981-1987 Isaka was assistant music director of the Gunma Symphony Orchestra. Since 1980 he has been secretary-general of the Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy & Festival in Japan. He is lecturer of applied musicology at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Camerata Profile