“Fujimoto’s leadership was vivid and masterful throughout.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
With meticulous preparation, expressive style, and a gift for connecting with ensembles, Japanese-American conductor Akiko Fujimoto is known for evoking dynamic performances wherever she conducts, inspiring praise for her “powerhouse performance” from the San Francisco Chronicle. Fujimoto is currently Music Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony, serving the fast-growing region of Seguin and New Braunfels. She has previously held titled conducting positions with three major American orchestras – Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and Virginia Symphony – and made conducting appearances with numerous other U.S. orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Houston Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Florida Orchestra.
The 2023/2024 season marks Fujimoto’s fifth season as Music Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony, where she has guided the ensemble through the pandemic, spearheaded a period of unprecedented growth, and led the ensemble into its watershed 45th anniversary season. Praised for her creative approach to programming and instinct for tailoring musical selections to the audience, she is also known for her many artistic collaborations and virtual pre-concert lectures.
During the 2022/23 season, Fujimoto made her debuts with the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra – leading a program of Mason Bates’ Alternative Energy and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the O’ahu Choral Society – and with the San Antonio Philharmonic in a program of Carlos Simon, Beethoven, and Brahms, with pianist Jon Kimura Parker. Besides leading the Mid-Texas Symphony in six concerts, including collaborations with the Briscoe Western Art Museum and Teatro De Artes De Juan Seguin, she also made a return appearance with the Arkansas Symphony.
During the 2021/22 season, Fujimoto made her debut with the San Francisco Symphony, leading a performance of Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3, and conducted two world premieres: Tania León’s Pasaje with the Arkansas Symphony and Suad Bushnaq’s Cello Concerto with the Vermont Symphony.
At the Minnesota Orchestra, Fujimoto held the title of Associate Conductor. Working closely with Music Director Osmo Vänskä, she conducted concerts in a range of genres and formats including Sommerfest, pops, and educational programming. She also previously worked with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta, and Susanna Mälkki as a cover conductor at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. During a stint as Conducting Associate of the Virginia Symphony, working alongside Music Director JoAnn Falletta, Fujimoto conducted a variety of subscription, educational, and community concerts, among other programming.
In her time as Associate Conductor at the San Antonio Symphony, Fujimoto’s highlights included a gala concert featuring violinist Gil Shaham and fully staged ballet productions of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. She was widely appreciated for connecting with audiences through her on-stage presentations and weekly pre-concert lectures, and for her successful collaborations with organizations including Mariachi Campanas de America, Guadalupe Dance Company, U.S. Air Force Band of the West, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Mass Choir.
Born in Japan, Fujimoto holds a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from Stanford University and Master of Music degrees in conducting from Boston University and the Eastman School of Music. She began her career with conducting roles at Harvard University and Stanford University, later serving as Director of Orchestras at the College of William & Mary and Music Director of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras.