Anthonello - Early Music Ensemble
The Early Music Ensemble≪Anthonello≫(Director HAMADA Yoshimichi)
Since its inauguration in 1994, the early music ensemble Anthonello makes much of the “spirit of the period” when music was originally composed, and makes clear the essential charm of music which is endowed with much energy and liveliness.
Anthonello has released CDs from Japanese and overseas labels, and is always be highly regarded by the media as a group in the forefront of early music interpretation and performance.
― “Their performing style will be a ‘mode’ from now on” (the “Repertoire”, France)
― “New wave of early music performance from Japan” (the “Diapason”, France)
Anthonello’s projects and works, which overcome stereotypical classical music’s viewpoints and pursue purely “musicianship”, attract great deal of attention and response not only from classical music fans but also from music lovers of other genres.
In 2013, Anthonello started the “Opera Fresca” projects to perform baroque operas such as three great works of Claudio Monteverdi, as well as the Japan premier of Giulio Caccini’s “L’Euridice” (based on the oldest “opera” music score in the world still extant): In 2019, the Japan premier of “La Fabula di Orfeo”, a musical work which Leonardo da Vinci is said to be participated in its original production, made a great success. Thus Anthonello vigorously works to propagate the charms of early operas which are still rarely performed in Japan and abroad.
To date, Anthonello won as a group such awards as follows:
- The 7th Hotel Okura Music Award in 2005
- The 28th Music Pen Club Japan Award (chamber music / chorus) in 2015
- The 14th Yoshio Sagawa Memorial Award for the 2015 Japanese fiscal year
- The 50th ENEOS Music Award（Western Classical Music Promortion Division) in 2020
- The 17th Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Music Award in 2020
Yoshimichi Hamada was born into a family of musicians in Tokyo as a great-grandson of the founder of Japanese first private music college, the Toyo Music Academy (the forerunner of the Tokyo College of Music). He studied recorder with Kazuo Hanaoka and graduated from the Period-instrument course of the Toho Gakuen College Music Department; and then he won a scholarship from the Swiss government and entered the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis to study cornett with Bruce Dickey, as well as medieval music theory with Crowford Young and Dominique Verart. He joined many CD recordings which are much appraised. While in Europe, he collaborated with such leading early music groups as Concerto Palatino, Ensemble PAN, and Ensemble La Fenice in concerts and recordings. In Japan, he works extensively to propagate pre-baroque music and instruments, which are still not famous, through various activities ? for instance joining into the soundtracks of the film “Rikyu”, the animations “Mimi wo sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)” and “Tegamibachi”; he also appeared in the NHK-TV sagas “Nobunaga” and “Hideyoshi”.
In recent years, Yoshimichi Hamada devotes himself to the productions of early opera works; in 2008, he conducted “L’Orfeo” of Claudio Monteverdi. In 2010, he appeared as conductor of “La Calisto”, an opera of Francesco Cavalli. In 2013, he started the project “Opera Fresca” to perform baroque operas such as three great works of C. Monteverdi, as well as the Japan premier of Giulio Caccini’s “L’Euridice” (the oldest “opera” music in the world still extant). Besides striking activities in the world of early music, he frequently works together with musicians of other genres, such as jazz. His vivid and free improvisation reminds us of the charms and thrills which early music must have had. He trains the next generation in wide areas, not limited to the instruction of recorder and cornett, but also of vocal music, chorus, and interpretation of medieval, Renaissance, and early baroque music.
To date, he taught at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts (Faculty of Music ? recorder course of the Early Music Department) and gave masterclasses for the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation. He is the permanent conductor of vocal ensemble La Voce Orfica.