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Critical Acclaim

"She [Rei Hotoda] was the score made flesh, come to transmit Shostakovich’s tragic vision of suffering and hope to her orchestra, and through them to us. Her sensitivity to dynamic levels and tone color, and her ability to vary them according to the score’s demands, are on a level occupied by the world’s finest conductors."


"What made Hotoda’s achievement so remarkable is the extremely demanding nature of the symphony [Shostakovich Symphony No.8], which asks as much of the conductor and the orchestra, emotionally as well as technically, as any piece in the repertoire. Hotoda’s success was awe-inspiring, and that of the orchestra absolutely thrilling to anyone who cares about Spokane’s artistic life."


“Hotoda, the only female finalist, is an impressive conductor – elegant, poised, emotionally charged, vastly experienced, and technically adroit. Her physical gestures – cueing, and interpreting – never encroached or distracted from the music. When she addressed the audience, her face beamed with the joy of doing what she's trained so hard to do – lead fine orchestras to play great music.”

—Classical Voice of North Carolina

“With a performance on Sunday that combined technical precision, savvy programming and invigorating musicianship, Rei Hotoda vaulted to the top tier of the five talented candidates who have vied so far for the job of new music director of the Fresno Philharmonic.”

—The Fresno Bee


“The program’s opening piece, Zhou Long’s fierce and pulse-pounding “The Rhyme of Taigu,” an homage to the ancient art of taiko drumming, was an exhilarating example of Hotoda’s distinctive conducting style.”  

—The Fresno Bee


“Hotoda, the associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, had a dynamic presence on the podium at Sunday’s Saroyan Theatre concert that combined an assertive, precise beat with a graceful, almost demure, physicality.”

—The Fresno Bee 

“The recent arrival of 2015 was celebrated and confirmed by the Las Vegas Philharmonic on Saturday as the orchestra welcomed not one but two outstanding guest artists to share the stage in The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall. Both conductor Rei Hotoda and violinist Bella Hristova left indelible marks on the audience through their artful musicianship and technical mastery.”
—Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Hotoda’s conducting is a well-balanced mixture of freedom and control, favoring aptly drawn phrases, shape and musical line without neglecting detail. She has a meticulous ear for detail within the sweep of the music. She guided the orchestra most successfully. Hotoda’s gestural language produced a beautifully contoured performance.”

—The Columbus Dispatch

“Rei Hotoda, the 2006 recipient of the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship…took charge of Higdon’s 1999 curtain-raiser [Fanfare Ritmico]. She drew from the ensemble a tight, lively performance that underlined the score’s sinewy structure, lively harmonic activity and ever-engaging instrumental coloring.”
—Baltimore Sun

“Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor Rei Hotoda led the orchestra in the rousing overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, K.492. This petite maestro looms large on the podium, putting heaps of energy into her expressive conducting. It gets results…Hotoda was in her element.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Hotoda, just beginning her career, appears talented and poised……she has strong potential.”
Washington Post

“The Alsop protégé and assistant conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra directed the orchestra with remarkable energy and precision.”
Denver Post

“In Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant conductor Rei Hotoda was careful to keep the orchestra in balance… She had an impressively secure control of the Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony…and again the orchestra played up a storm…”
—The Dallas Morning News

“Under the direction Rei Hotoda, assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, those in attendance were treated to a flurry of upbeat pieces to kick off DSO’s Community Parks Concerts.  Feet were tapping, hands were clapping, and people were dancing all night long.  Not only did Hotoda conduct the orchestra with a steady hand, but she ably served as emcee for the evening, engaging the audience as she introduced each selection.”
Dallas South News

“Dallas Symphony Orchestra hits right steps with fancy folk dances. Folk dances both real and ersatz were all the rage Saturday evening at the Meyerson Symphony Center. They were served up by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under incoming assistant conductor Rei Hotoda…Gershwin’s Cuban Overture was the rousing opener, Hotoda whipping up the decibels but also making room for seductive solos.”
The Dallas Morning News

“To open this memorable evening, (Marin) Alsop introduced a protégé, Rei Hotoda (winner of Alsop’s inspiring Taki Concordia Fellowship) who brought a confident, clean beat and a solid rhythmic sense to a pair of Brahms Hungarian Dances.”
Rocky Mountain News

“The brilliance of guest pianist, a conductor-candidate, Rei Hotoda took us on a musical trip through an art gallery and a sparkling opener from a composer never before featured in Duluth. The orchestra was highly attentive to Hotoda’s baton and responded warmly to both the music and the conductor.”
Duluth News Tribune

“Guest conductor, Rei Hotoda took the Macon Symphony for a test drive. The crowning work on the program was Copland’s Symphony No. 3. She handled it with grace, proficiency and subtle shaping. Throughout the concert Hotoda showed a thorough knowledge of each score without even glancing at her music.”
The Macon Telegraph

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