Kunito (Kuni) Nishitani is a violinist & conductor, recieved scholarships from New York University (NYU), where he earned a Master’s degree, and at Portland State University (PSU), where he earned a Bachelor’s degree.
Nishitani has appeared as a violin soloist and concertmaster in the US and Japan and has performed violin concertos with orchestras in both countries. These performances include concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Bruch, and Glaznov, and Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, Lalo’s Symphony Espanole, and Khachaturian violin concertos.
Nishitani received high praise for the Japan-US: 150 years of friendship celebration concert by Japanese professional musicians and sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Portland, Oregon. He also performed at the 2007 Rotary District 5100 Conference.
He had taught at New York University, Portland State University, and Rose City Music Academy in Portland, Oregon as an adjunct faculty member by the time he stayed in the U.S. He was a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the College Music Society.
Nishitani received training the violin from Professor Chikashi Tanaka (Professor Emeritus, Geidai University of the Arts and concertmaster of the NHK Symphony Orchestra), Professor Carol Sindell (who studied with Jascha Heifetz and is a PSU faculty member), and Professor Martin Beaver (The last 1st violinist in the Tokyo String Quartet and faculty member at The Colburn School.
Nishitani moved back to Japan in July, 2010 and has been performing, recording, and teaching at various places in Tokyo. He has also appeared on radio (FM Salus) and TV (TV Asahi). Currently, he teaches at Ikebukuro Community College, and the Kunito Int'l Violin & Viola School as a faculty member. He also substitutes and conducts at the American School in Japan.
Since 2010, many private students have been studying with Nishitani, and he received much positive feedback from students and parents. Some of his students have achieved admirable results in various auditions and competitions. In 2016, he recieved an award for excellence in instruction from Japan Classical Music Society (Japan Classical Music Competition).
As a conductor, he established two orchestras Shakuji Int'l Orchestra and Kunito Int'l Youth Orchestra in 2014 and became a music director of these orchestra. In 2015, he also assumed the post of formal conductor of Suginami Baroque Ensemble.
He studied conducting with, Professor Kazue Kamiya (Saito conducting method), Professor Keith Clark, and Professor Michiyoshi Inoue. To date, he has conducted Orchestra Emile, the PSU Symphony Orchestra, and the Lewis & Clark College Orchestra. He also assisted with the Portland Youth Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony as a string instructor. In 2012&2013, he was invited as a guest conductor for Kanto Plain Honor Orchestra.
Nishitani is an adjudicator of Japan Classical Music Competition. He is a member of the Japanese String Teachers Association.
Nishitani released his first CD album Op.1 "Chanson de Matin & Nuit" in May 2014. Second CD Album Op.2 , A Collection of Pieces for Solo Violin" He also wrote and published books,"Kunito Violin Method Op.1" and "Diary of the violinst as an exchange student in Portland, OR".
-He is making real contributions to the musical world as a violinist, teacher and conductor- Prof. Martin Beaver, First Violin, Tokyo String Quartet
-His outstanding musical and personal qualities were consistently and abundantly demonstrated- Prof. Carol Sindell, Florestan Trio
Feb. 22nd 2016 updated