Robert Rÿker

Robert Rÿker serves as Music Director of the Tokyo Sinfonia, and Music Director of the National Philharmonic of India.

He has conducted in Baltimore, Bombay, Boston, Bucharest, Calcutta, Cleveland, Helsinki, Jena, Jacksonville, Kiev, Lima, Montreal, Nagoya, Pittsburgh, Prague, Saint Louis, Saint Petersburg, Shanghai, Singapore, Vilnius, Windsor, Washington, and other cities on four continents.

He has been based for many years in Tokyo, one of the three great world capitals of music.

Maestro Rÿker’s warm and approachable style to music makes every performance a joyous experience and a highly professional event for audience and orchestra alike.

He brings a special empathy and affection to classical music to touch hearts and minds of his audience, the neophyte as well as the aficionado. A Renaissance Man, he has honed skills to nurture the audience, the repertoire, and the orchestra.

A pioneer

A pioneer and an innovator, he has founded orchestras on three continents – the National Philharmonic of India, the North Bay Symphony in Canada, and the Tokyo Sinfonia.

He created a powerfully effective audience development program for symphony orchestras known internationally as Mini-concerts (in Tokyo these are Strings in the Schools).

He has written over 250 musical arrangements, compositions, orchestrations and performing editions to fill the need for repertoire to build sustaining audiences.

He lectured on Style in Conducting for the Midwest Orchestra Conference in Chicago. He served for a decade as senior music critic of the Japan Times, and developed an international reputation as a discerning writer on music and an accomplished public speaker.

His recordings of works by Bach, Barber, Beethoven, Britten, Dvorak, Gershwin, Grieg, Lalo, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Reed, Schubert and Shostakovich have earned high praise for their balanced sonorities, sensitive pacing and profound expression.

Montreal critic Robert Markow wrote:
“Bravo! a true interpretation, an approach that features firm control of rhythm, accuracy of attacks and releases, good flow and momentum, and an almost classical approach. Refreshing. Excellent orchestra too.”


Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote:
The Beethoven Ninth I found extremely taut, fleet and cohesive! Bravo.
Born in Indianapolis, Rÿker commenced his professional career at the age of 17 as principal tuba of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

He served with distinction in a similar post with the Montreal Symphony, where he performed some 2,000 concerts under such luminaries as Abbado, Ancerl, Baudo, Böhm, Decker, Davis, Dohnanyi, Fiedler, Fourner, Frühbeck, Giulini, Goosens, Jansons, Kondrashin, Krips, Martinon, Mehta, Münch, Oistrakh, Ozawa, Prêtre, Rudolf, Sargent, Schippers, Schuller, Shostakovich, Skrowaczewski and Swarowsky.

He credits his long association with Zubin Mehta to have been a seminal influence upon his own formation as an orchestra conductor and interpretive musician.

We recently asked Robert Rÿker to outline what makes the Tokyo Sinfonia such a “very different little orchestra”
“Sound is the starting point of music. When I conceived of the Tokyo Sinfonia, I wanted to create an orchestra with the richest sound possible with economy of means. As the Americans say, I wanted to create an orchestra delivering the most bang for the buck. To achieve this, I relied on two well-established concepts of dynamics.” Read more >>>