I recently saw my local symphony conducted by a guest conductor, who at one time was principal of the Tokyo Philharmonic. He was very good. It got me thinking, why do we never hear about the major orchestras in Asian countries? I almost never see a recording by any of them here in the Western World; and they are never referenced in record guides. It seems they are ignored by the likes of Penguin and Gramophone.

Plenty of famed soloists originate from Asia; there's certainly no shortage of talent in that area of the world. So you've gotta think the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra are pretty good orchestras. I haven't heard any of them, but they must be at least equivalent to the second-tier orchestras in the US.

Which is weird because plenty of smaller European orchestras, which are good but nowhere near a group like the Vienna Philharmonic, are well-represented on CD (especially the Naxos label).

Has anyone heard one of these Asian orchestras? How good are they, and why are they effectively shut out of the West?