Associate Concertmaster Emeritus of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Akira Nagai retired June, 2019 after serving VSO for 43 years. He occupied the positions of Assistant Concertmaster, Associate Concertmaster and Concertmaster chair for 35 years. During 43 years, he has also served in Japan as a guest concertmaster for Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic, Sapporo Symphony and Japan Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra which brings concertmasters and principals of all Japanese orchestras.
In 1996, Nagai formed a chamber music group “Ensemble Pacific North” and has been playing in Sapporo area every year. Celebrated 20th anniversary concert 3 years ago fundraising for survivors of 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. This group still plays fundraising concerts for those survivors today. In 2000, he formed a sister group “Pacific North Trio” with a pianist; Keiko Alexander here in Vancouver. The trio has played at senior homes and community centers in Vancouver, also performed in Seattle, Tokyo and Nagoya.
Akira has been teaching violin at VSO School of Music since 2011 and coached the string section of VYSO Senior Orchestra for seven years. He was a recipient of the 2014 Vancouver Japanese Business Association’s The Distinguished Award for a long time contribution to the city of Vancouver and its Japanese communities. A Former member of CBC Radio Orchestra in Vancouver and former faculty member of VAM.
In 1971-76, he was a member of Montreal Symphony Orchestra and McGill Chamber Orchestra. He was a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship to study with a famed pedagogue Josef Gingold at Indiana University School of Music and earned a Master degree of Music in 1971.