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Teacher Feature - Toru Tagawa

toru tagawa

Toru Tagawa (he/him) from Hiroshima, Japan, started playing the violin at age 6, and joined the Kurashiki Junior Philharmonic Orchestra at age 9. He received his Violin Performance degrees from the University of Tulsa (BM) and the Florida State University (MM), and a Music Education degree (MME) from the University of Arizona.

Mr. Tagawa is the Music Director and Conductor of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Canyon del Oro High School Orchestra. His conducting teachers include Thomas Cockrell, Charles Bontrager, Jung-Ho Pak, and Maurice Peress. Toru made his debut at Carnegie Hall in March, 2017.

An active violinist, he performs with the Tucson Symphony, Tucson Pops, Arizona Opera Orchestras, and has played with National Repertory (CO), Shreveport (LA), Arkansas, Tallahassee (FL), AIMS (Austria), Hiroshima (Japan) ,and Vancouver (Canada) Symphony Orchestras. Toru is the Past-President of the American String Teachers Association of Arizona.

What Instrument Do You Play? Violin

Best flavor of Pop Tart? Frosted Strawberry, I love the classics (Music too).

Favorite Piece to Conduct? Symphony No.5 (Beethoven, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Shostakovich, Prokofiev etc).

Baton, Pencil, or just your hands? I use them all at different occasions. (Can’t find a baton, pencil, etc)

What Instrument do you WISH you knew how to play? French Horn

Best piece of musical advice you've been given? Learn to play with what you have. (example, if you get cold hands and you can’t perform well, learn to play with cold hands, another example, stop wishing you have longer fingers, or long arms, etc. Learn to use what you are given). In other words, don’t make excuses for yourself for not being able to do something you want to do. If you really want to do it, you will do it.


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