Chikara Imamura, Regular Guest Conductor of the Polish National Opera, has conducted many distinguished European and Japanese orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra Filharmonico della Scala Milan, Orchestra della RAI Milan, Vienna Philharmonic Wind Ensemble, Salzburger Dom Mozarteum Orchestra, North German Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Polish Radio Symphony in Katowice, Krakow Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Lithuanian National Symphony, Prague Virtuosi, NHK Symphony, Tokyo and New Japan Philharmonic.
He was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1954 and studied piano, vocal, instrument and composition at the Kunitachi College of Music and the Tohogakuen College of Music in Tokyo. He studied conducting with Masamitsu Takahashi and, from 1976, with Seiji Ozawa and Professor Franco Ferrara. During this period, he conducted the orchestra and the opera of the Tohogakuen College of Music, Tokyo Radio Chorus and NHK TV-Opera. From 1976–1978 he held the position of Conductor of the Tokyo Academic Chorus and Jeunesses Musicales of Japan.
Having received third prize at the Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Japan in 1977, he went to Europe, participating in the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1978–81. He also attended master classes with Milan Horvat at the Salzburg Summer Academy, where he conducted the concluding concert in 1979. He was assistant to the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1980 he was finalist at the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition in Milan and in 1983 he was first prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition for Conductor in Poland.
He was the resident conductor of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (1989–90) and Principal Conductor of the Tokyo Harmonia Chamber Orchestra (1990–96). He is now Chief-Conductor of the Nara Chamber Orchestra (since 1996), Music Director of the Filharmonia Tama-Tokyo (since 2004), Conductor of the Tokyo Chamber Opera (since 2005) and Chief Conductor of the Opera Association of Kunitachi College of Music. He has made numerous recordings for many labels.
Since 1995, he has presented master classes in orchestral, operatic and choral conducting at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo. He was also a member of jury for the 6th and 7th Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in Poland.
At the Polish National Opera, Maestro Imamura has conducted since 2002 as the associate and regular guest conductor. He has also conducted in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Enschede and at the Lodz Grand Theatre, at the Spoleto Opera/Teatro Lilico Sperimentale “A Belli” in Italy and at the National Theatre Opera in Japan, as well as at the Globe Tokyo for Tokyo Chamber Opera. He conducted the regular concert of the Konzerthaus Berlin in 2000, the concert-tour of the Sinfonia Varsovia in Germany in 2005, also several concerts in Hamburg, Halle in Germany in 2007.
Maestro Imamura has collaborated with a number of distinguished soloists including Sheila Armstrong, John Shirley-Quirk, David Rendall, Jorg Demus, Patrick Gallois, Michala Petri, Peter Damm, Radvan Vlatkovic and Christian Lindberg.