Kazushi Ono was appointed successor to Antonio Pappano as Music Director at La Monnaie in Brussels from August 2002. He made his operatic debut there in March 2001 conducting Sciarrino's chamber opera "Luci mie traditrio" to critical acclaim and undertook a very successful tour with this production to New York's Lincoln Center in July. He is currently General Music Director of the Badisches State Opera in Karlsruhe, following his tenure as Principal Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1992 to 1999 and Artistic Advisor from 1999 to 2001.
In March 1999 he made his highly successful debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducting Bartok and Prokofiev. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Komische Oper Berlin, Frankfurt RSO, Orchestre National de Lyon etc.
With the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Ono launched the award-winning "Opera Concertante Series", giving the Japanese premieres of works by Zemlinsky, Hindemith and Prokofiev. He also commissioned Mart Antony Turnage's "Silent Cities" and gave the Japanese premieres of Henze's 8th and 9th Symphonies.
After participating at the 1983 Tanglewood Festival under the guidance of Leonard Bernstein, Ono studied with Wolfgang Sawallisch and Guiseppe Patane at the Bayerischen Staatsoper as a scholar of the Cultural Ministry of Japan. In 1987, he won First Prize in the 3rd Toscanini International Conductors Competition.