In 1996, at the age of twenty-three, Shuntaro Sato was appointed Associate Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra. He has since conducted the Orchestra in the UK's leading venues and overseas, with soloists such as Nigel Kennedy, Emma Johnson, Raphael Wallfisch and Pinchas Zukerman. He made his first recording with the orchestra in 1998.
Shuntaro Sato made a highly successful debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998 and has also conducted the Finnish Radio Symphony, Sinfonia Lahti, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra among others. In January 2000 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Kuopio City Orchestra in Finland, where he has conducted soloists such as Dmitri Alexeev.
Shuntaro Sato has conducted many orchestras in his native Japan, including the Japan Philharmonic, Osaka Symphony, Kyoto Symphony, Sapporo Symphony, Sendai Philharmonic and NHK Symphony Chamber Orchestra. A performance of Das Lied von der Erde was broadcast on NHL television and he has broadcast many times on radio.
He made his UK debut with the Boston Chamber Orchestra and was subsequently invited to be a guest conductor at the Tanglewood summer season. In the UK, in addition to his work with the English Chamber Orchestra, he has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in each of the last four seasons. In 1999 he made his debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and was invited to return for a performance in July 2001.
Born in Sendai, in the north of Japan's Honshu Island, Shuntaro Sato studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he formed an orchestra and conducted all of Beethoven's symphonies. As a conductor, his teachers included Diego Masson and Geraint Jones.