Tokyo-born Naohisa Furusawa has been a member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) double bass section since 2003. He started to play the violin at 4 and, at 12, played the double bass in his junior high school orchestra. He studied double bass with Prof. Nobuo Shiga, and piano and conducting with Prof. Kazue Kamiya at Toho Gakuen School of Music, and with Prof. Frank Reinecke at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg.
He has performed as a double bass player with the NHK Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, under the direction of luminaries such as Seiji Ozawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Lorin Maazel, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez and Valery Gergiev.
He conducted Beethoven’s 9th Symphony eight times with Tokyo’s MAX Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2015, he conducted Mahler’s Second Symphony with the MAX Philharmonic to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of Second World War.
Since 2016, he is Resident Conductor of the MPO and serves as conductor to the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. In 2017, he conducted the MPO in Tokyo at the Asia Orchestra Week.
He has conducted many youth ensembles including the MPO’s Encounter Training Ensemble and the Miri Tutti Project in East Malaysia as part of the MPO’s Education and Outreach Programme.
Gerard Salonga has conducted the Philippine Philharmonic, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Taiwan’s The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, and the Bangkok, Sydney and Singapore Symphony Orchestras.
His music arrangements and orchestrations have been performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra, New York Pops, Winnipeg Symphony and Cincinnati Pops. As an arranger and conductor, he has collaborated with artists such as Lea Salonga, Wang Leehom, Wu Tong, Cecile Licad, Michael Ball, Il Divo, Blake, Shen Yang, Danielle de Niese, TaikOz and The Beach Boys.
He was honoured as one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM), the Philippines’ highest civilian award to achievers under the age of 40 in 2012.
In 2016, Salonga was chosen as one of the Assistant Conductors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra selected by the orchestra and its Music Director Jaap van Zweden. He has also worked closely with Yu Long, Jun Märkl, Hans Graf and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Currently the Music Director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, he has recently concluded his second season as Assistant Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic.