Joji Hattori, artistic director of the Vienna Opernsommer Belvedere, enjoys a very varied career as a musician. Besides being a conductor and a violinist, he is also known as an entrepreneur of new, innovative projects. He feels also increasingly dedicated to supporting young musical talents.

In 1969, he was born in Japan but spent his childhood in Vienna where regularly attending the opera house and concert halls formed his musical development.

He studied the violin at the Vienna Academy of Music under Rainer Küchl and later continued his studies with Yehudi Menuhin and Vladimir Spivakov. In 1989 he won the International Menuhin Violin Competition in England. After a decade of international activities as a violin soloist, he participated at the inaugural Lorin Maazel Conducting Competition in New York in 2002, where he was given a major award and the opportunity to study conducting techniques with the late Lorin Maazel for the following two years.

From 2004 to 2017 Joji Hattori was Associate Guest Conductor, from 2018 to 2024 Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, which he has conducted in numerous tours to over 20 countries. He was also Principal Guest Conductor and Co-Artistic Director of the Balearic Symphony Orchestra (Palma de Mallorca) from 2015 to 2019.

As guest conductor he has worked repeatedly with many distinguished orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra London, Slovakian Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker or many major symphony orchestras in Japan.

Hattori made his debut as an opera conductor in 2004 at the Vienna Chamber Opera with Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. From 2007 to 2008 he was Principal Conductor at the Erfurt Theatre and from 2009 to 2021 Chief Conductor and Music Director of the open-air opera/opera summer festival in Kittsee. In 2009, he conducted three performances of The Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera. He has also repeatedly worked at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Japan’s first opera house.

Apart from his performing activities, Joji Hattori is President of Musica Juventutis Austria, Vice President of the International Menuhin Violin Competition and in 2003 he was made Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Having studied social anthropology at Oxford University (St. Antony College), he also continues to research the questions around the national identity of human beings. Since 2015 he is the owner of Shiki, a Japanese Fine Dining restaurant in Vienna.

Biography in Japanese