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 is Music Director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra (a professional orchestra in Manila maintained by the leading Philippine broadcast company ABS-CBN) and for two seasons, served as Assistant Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In January 2019, he began his term as Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).
In 2016, he was named one of the Assistant Conductors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, selected by the orchestra and its Music Director Jaap van Zweden from a field of 170 international applicants. He has also worked closely with Yu Long, Jun Märkl, Zhang Guoyong, Hans Graf, John Wilson, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Leonard Slatkin.
Salonga has conducted the Philippine Philharmonic, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Evergreen Symphony, Bangkok and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and Orchestra Victoria. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, RTE Concert Orchestra, New York Pops, Winnipeg Symphony, Guangzhou Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops. As arranger and conductor, he has collaborated with artists such as Lea Salonga, Wang Leehom, Wu Tong, Michael Ball, Il Divo, Blake, Shen Yang, Danielle de Niese, TaikOz, Ksenija Sidorova and The Beach Boys.
Season 2018/19 includes debuts with the Singapore Symphony and Kunming Ni-Er Symphony in China, and conducting the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, and, in his new role, concerts with the MPO as well as the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He will also collaborate with pianist Cecile Licad and the South Denmark Philharmonic on a new recording of the works of George Gershwin on the Danacord label.
In 2012, Salonga was honoured as one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM), the Philippines’ highest civilian award to achievers under the age of 40, and was named Music Director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic.