Naomi Munakata, an important Japanese naturalized Brazilian conductor, died on Thursday, 26, at the age of 64. She was admitted to the German hospital Oswaldo Cruz, in São Paulo, since March 16, diagnosed with coronavirus.
According to an official hospital note, the conductor died of complications from Covid-19 infection. Naomi was admitted with symptoms of severe respiratory failure, being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Also according to the note, she had comorbidities that resulted in the unfavorable evolution of the clinical picture.
Principal conductor of the Coral Paulistano Mário de Andrade, of the Municipal Theater of São Paulo, Naomi was conductor of the Osesp Choir for two decades, and director of the Municipal School of Music of São Paulo.
“The Theatro Municipal family is an orphan. We lost the main conductor of the Paulistano Choir Naomi Munakata. The most sincere feelings to the friends and family of this great artist who has brightened our stage in recent years ”, says the tribute published in the official profile of the theater.
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Naomi and her family moved to Brazil when she was 2 years old. At 4, she learned to play the piano with her father. Then he studied violin and harp. He graduated in Composition and Conducting from the Musical Institute of São Paulo – later, he expanded his studies in Sweden and Tokyo. In the 1970s, he won the award for best choral conductor, granted by the São Paulo Association of Art Critics (APCA).