Music Division

Music Division engages in a wide range of activities with the objective of contributing to the development of western-style classical and contemporary music in Japan, from the Foundation’s awards programs and the promotion of works by Japanese composers, to its instrument loaning and publishing. These programs are a continuation of the work begun by the Torii Music Foundation, established in 1969 (renamed the Suntory Music Foundation in 1978) to mark the 70th anniversary of Suntory’s founding.

Suntory Music Award
Established in 1969, this award is given each year to the individual or group that has made the most outstanding contribution to the development of western-style classical and contemporary music in Japan. To mark the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, eligibility has been expanded to those of foreign nationality in an effort to promote the global communication of information from within Japan. (prize ¥7,000,000)
Keizo Saji Prize
Created in 2001, this prize is given to the most challenging and outstanding music performance of the year from among concerts held in Japan. Beginning with the prize’s 20th year, the Foundation will also offer complimentary tickets to the candidate performances, in the hopes of providing even more music lovers the opportunity to experience these concerts. (prize ¥2,000,000)
Yasushi Akutagawa Suntory Award for Music Composition
The Akutagawa Award for Music Composition was established in 1990 to commemorate the achievements of the late composer and conductor Yasushi Akutagawa. With the 29th award in 2019, the name was changed and the prize money increased with the aim of supporting even greater growth among up-and-coming Japanese composers. Each year, one novel composition demonstrating rich potential is selected at a public concert from among outstanding orchestral works premiered in the previous year. The winning composer will also receive a commission for a new orchestral work, to be premiered at the public selection concert two years hence. (prize ¥1,500,000; commission ¥1,000,000)
Musical Instrument Loaning
The Foundation conducts an instrument loaning program aimed at young Japanese performing musicians active on the global stage and at students of music in Japan. The objective is to preserve the renowned string instruments in the Foundation’s collection, which represent a cultural heritage, ensuring they are handed down to future generations.
The Foundation edits and publishes a bilingual, biennial bibliography of Works by Japanese Composers as a means of promoting the creative efforts of those composers and giving greater exposure to their music. The bibliography is available free of charge on the Foundation’s website.
Vienna Philharmonic & Suntory Music Aid Fund
This fund was established in 2012 to provide ongoing support through music for rebuilding efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and was created through matching funds from the Vienna Philharmonic and Suntory Holdings Limited. In the hopes of reinvigorating not only the affected areas but all of Japan through music, the Foundation offers a Music Aid Award which invites grant applications nationwide. Meanwhile, members of the Vienna Philharmonic visit regions affected by the disaster to hold a series of "Concerts for Children."

Suntory Museum of Art and Suntory Hall

Opened in 1961 in Tokyo's Marunouchi district, the Suntory Museum of Art has focused on offering special exhibitions while also developing its collection, under the basic philosophy of "Art in Life." The museum's collection currently comprises about 3,000 works, including paintings, lacquerware, ceramics, glass, and textiles, among others. It also includes one National Treasure and 15 Important Cultural Properties. In 1975, the museum relocated to Akasaka Mitsuke, and in 2007 moved again to its new home in a facility designed by architect Kengo Kuma as part of the Tokyo Midtown complex in Roppongi. Under a new mission of "Art revisited, beauty revealed," the museum engages in a variety of activities, from special exhibitions to educational programs.
Suntory Hall opened in 1986 as Tokyo's first venue dedicated to live concert performances, based on the concept of "In pursuit of the world’s most beautiful sound." The Main Hall, which world-renowned conductor Herbert von Karajan called a "jewel box of sound," was the first concert hall in Japan to be built using the so-called “vineyard” design. Facing the audience, the hall's organ is one of the largest in the world, and produces a magnificent sound. Along with the Small Hall (also known as the Blue Rose), which offers the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of music, Suntory Hall is the venue for performances by first-class artists from both in and outside Japan, and welcomes as many as 600,000 visitors per year.