New Manager at the Kobe International Flute Competition, Nishioka brings a host of experience from her work at major orchestras in Japan

WFIMC : You are actually a musician?

Chihiro Nishioka : I studied and graduated in music, as a flute player. But it was quite clear for me that I would be in management and so I began working in the management of the Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra. Later I moved to the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, one of the main orchestras in Osaka. I stayed there for eight years, producing concerts for them.

But somehow you came to the Kobe Competition….

Yes, I was approached by the KOBE Cultural Foundation as they were looking to strengthen their team.

The foundation has rearranged the flute competition structure, which is a good sign: more importance is given to this event. As you may know, the foundation is not only managing the competition, but also a concert hall, a Kobe City Philharmonic Chorus, and the Kobe City Chamber Orchestra. Until now, the cultural promotion team had been responsible for the flute competition, but there is now a separate project team, which will make work much easier.



Chihiro Nishioka in front of the Kobe Bunka Hall, a venue of the competition

Have you ever taken part in a competition as a performer?

Oh no. I totally admire competitions, but I could never.

When will be the first Flute Competition with you in charge?

Our competition will take place next Summer (August-September). We are now in the middle of preparations and will come out with all the information in May.

How many applications do you expect?

Kobe has traditionally had around 250 applicants. During covid, we did an online edition which attracted even more: I think it was around 480 people.

How about international participation?

Out of the 250, about 80% come from abroad. 

Looking ahead, what are your plans?

I hope we will be able to build on the achievements of the past competitions- the winners, and the people who have been involved in the management of the competition. Also, I really look forward to meet all the colleagues from the WFIMC! My English is not as good as my predecessor´s, but I´ll do my best!


The next Kobe International Flute Competition will take place in 2025, details to be announced. 

Competition website

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