Chitate Kagawa was born March 20th
1944 to Mitsuo Kagawa, an elementary teacher, and his
wife Kiyoko in Hokkaido, northern Japan. He started
playing the tuba in junior high school. After graduation
from Asahikawa Higashi high school he entered a band of
the local Grand Self Defense Forces. He was soon invited
to play tuba in the Grand Self Defense Force Central
Band in Tokyo for two years. Meanwhile, he began private
tuba studies with Genkichi Harada, tubist with the NHK
Symphony Orchestra. He soon passed an examination and
entered the Tokyo University of Fine Arts & Music. He
graduated from Tokyo University of Fine Arts & Musicin
That same year he met and married his
wife Sachiko;they have two daughters,Chiho & Shino. Also
in 1969 he joined the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra as
principal tuba, retiring after 35 years, March 2004.
In 1971 Chitate founded the Sapporo
Wind Band and served as its conductor for eight years.
Chitate gained credentials and respect as an adjudicator
in Japan, serving as judge of many wind competitions in
Hokkaido prefecture. More recently, he served as
instructor of tuba and euphonium at the Hokkaido
University of Education and Ohtani College.
Chitate was also a founding member of
the Hokkaido International Music Exchange Society and a
councilor for the International Tuba Euphonium
Association (ITEA). In September 1973 Chitate was
selected and sponsored by the Cultural Affairs arm of
the Japanese government as the first Japanese brass
instrument player to study abroad for one year. He
studied tuba under Professor Harvey G.Phillips at
Professor Phillips invited Chitate to
accompany him to several music conferences, including
the University of Illinois,Midwest Band & Orchestra
Clinic(Chicago) and the Tennessee Tech Tuba/Euphonium
Symposium (there were others). Chitate was able to meet
and discuss ideas with important American professors and
their students. All were impressed with Chitate's
sincerity and commitment.
Chitate gave his first tuba recital
in Sapporo,August 1973. He presented his second recital
at Indiana University,May 1974. He presented his third
recital in Sapporo, April,1981. In Tokyo September
28,1974 he premiered the piano edition of the Ralph
Vaughan Williams "Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra"
In June 1981, Chitate established the
Hokkaido Euphonium Tuba Association (HETA) both to
increase awareness of these instruments in Japan and to
encourage pride in their performance. In August 1981 he
presented the first tuba/euphonium camp in Sapporo.
Since 1985, he has invited outstanding international
tuba and euphonium artists to teach at the camp,
notwithstanding difficulties with international music
exchange. The camp took place each year until 2003; it
has since reopened. The instruction and activities at
the camp have inspired young musicians and produced
outstanding performers, such as Koji Suzuki, tubist of
the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, and Ryoichi Tamaki,
tubist of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and inheritor
of this camp. The camp's competition for student tuba
players was named the Harvey G. Phillips Solo Tuba
Competition; this year 2010, at Mr.Phillips' suggestion
the competition has been re-named "The Harvey G.Phillips
and Chitate Kagawa Solo Tuba Competition". The camp also
holds a Brian L.Bowman Solo Euphonium Competition.
While most Japanese tubists played
only BBb and F tubas at the time, Chitate played the CC
tuba, then in vogue in both Europe and the United
States. Influenced by tubists Robert Tucci and Daniel
Perantoni, Chitate introduced to Japan two CC tubas of
recent European manufacture, one made in Switzerland by
Peter Hirsbrunner and another in Germany by Rudolf
Meinl. Since 1988, he and his wife operate the Japan
Tuba Center to serve the needs of euphonium and tuba
players for instruments, mouthpieces, accessories,
music, and recordings.
In Sapporo in 1990, the city
government sponsored an international Tuba-Euphonium
Conference which was an unprecedented success. Five
hundred and ten people from Japan and 14 other countries
Chitate was chief of the program
committee and Harvey Phillips was consultant to the
mayor's committee. This conference has been praised in
many countries and continues to be a model for more
recent symposia; everyone attending the original
conference has grown beyond expectations.
Chitate Kagawa's work over the past
thirty-five years has served to inspire greater interest
in and awareness of tuba/euphonium music in Japan, and
has also helped to further this awareness in other
Chitate's determination to give young
Japanese players the opportunity to learn from some of
the best performers in the field, and his dedication to
music instruction benefiting future generations has
qualified him to receive the ITEC Lifetime Achievement
CITATION prepared by Harvey
G.Phillips for printing in program book...
and to be read at the 2010 I.T.E.C.
Awards Ceremony by Daniel Perantoni.