Toshio Hosokawa was born in 1955. Following initial studies in piano and composition in Tokyo, he came to Berlin in 1976 to study composition with Isang Yun at the Universität der Künste. He continued his studies with Klaus Huber at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg from 1983 to 1986. In 1980, he participated for the first time in the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik where some of his compositions were performed. From 1989 to 1998, the composer was the artistic director and organiser of the annual Akiyoshidai International Contemporary Music Seminar and Festival in Yamagushi which he had co-founded. Since 2001, he has additionally been the artistic director of the Japanese Takefu International Music Festival in Fukuj. He was appointed permanent guest professor at the Tokyo College of Music in 2004. Hosokawa lives in Nagano, Japan and in Mainz, Germany.
Hosokawa’s compositions include orchestral works, solo concertos, chamber music and film music alongside works for traditional Japanese instruments.The orchestral work Circulating Ocean was composed in 2005 as a commission for the Salzburg Festival. Valery Gergiev conducted the world premiere in Salzburg.Woven Dreams is an award-winning work of Roche Commissions, which was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival in 2010 and won a BASCA British Composer Award in 2013. The Horn Concerto – Moment of Blossoming was written for the horn virtuoso Stefan Dohr, who premiered it with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle’s direction in 2011.
In the oratorio Voiceless voice in Hiroshima (1989/2000-01) for soloists, narrator, choir, accompanying tape (playback tape) (ad lib.) and orchestra, Hosokawa takes as his subject the devastating atomic bomb explosion at the end of the Second World War in the city of his birth. The composer approaches the unutterable through his extreme musical language – the brutal tonal world of brass and percussion and the colourful chordal landscape of the choir. A series of compositions for varying instrumentations is dedicated to the victims of Japan’s 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster. Meditation for orchestra evolves from a silent Meditation to an elegy while the brass and percussion instruments warn of the approaching tsunami in the background.
His first opera Vision of Lear was premiered at the Münchener Biennale in 1998. Hosokawa succeeds in bridging East and West in his Shakespeare adaptation: modern European musical theatre meets the Japanese traditions of Nō-Theatre on the basis of the Renaissance play. Hosokawa’s second opera, Hanjo, was first staged at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence in 2004, followed by further performances in Brussels, Hamburg, Lisbon, Bielefeld, Lyon, Tokyo and Milan. Woven Dreams is an award-winning work of Roche Commissions, which was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival in 2010. His third opera Matsukaze premiered at La Monnaie Brussels in 2011 (Sasha Waltz, staging). Hosokawa also wrote the opera Stilles Meer in response to these terrible events. It was commissioned by Hamburg State Opera and saw its premiere conducted by Kent Nagano in January 2016. Many works were premiered under the baton of the world’s leading conductors: Kazushi Ono, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, and Robin Ticciati, among others. Many of the works mentioned above have become an important part of the contemporary repertoire.
Hosokawa has received numerous awards and prizes: Among them the first prize in the composition competition for the 100th anniversary of the Berliner Philharmoniker (1982), the Arion Music Prize (1984), the Kyoto Music Prize (1988) and the Rheingau Music Prize (1998). From 1998 to 2007 he was Composer in Residence at the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Hosokawa was appointed member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 2001. In 2006/07 and 2008/09, he undertook a period of research at the Institute for Advanced Study [Wissenschaftskolleg] in Berlin. He was Composer in Residence at the Biennale di Venezia (1995, 2001), the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (1998-2007), the International Music Festival of Lucerne (2000), musica viva in Munich (2001), Musica nova Helsinki (2003), Warsaw Autumn (2005, 2007) and others. He was Artistic Director of the Suntory Hall International Program for Music Composition from 2012-2015.
Ms. Kei Itoh is the first Japanese to have ever won the first prize at the 1983 Munich International Piano Competition. She began studies on the piano from childhood under Ms. Kazuo Ariga. Graduating in 1977 from Tokyo’s renowned Toho Gakuen High School, she pursued her further studies in Europe at Salzburg’s Mozarteum Conservatory and under Hans Leygraf at the Hannover Conservatory.
Her Munich debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper Orchestra under the baton of Wolfgang Sawallisch led to subsequent engagements in Europe with the Frankfurter Rundfunk Orchestra, Südwestfunk Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra and Warsaw Philharmonic, and Ms. Itoh now performs regularly in Europe with orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic, as well as with all the major Japanese orchestras: NHK Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra etc.
In constant demand as a recitalist, Kei Itoh is known as a particularly fine interpreter of the romantic composers as well as the French repertoire. She recently has completed an 8-year series of annual concerts devoted to the music of Schumann. She gave recitals concentrated in Schubert’s works for eight years from 2008.
A prolific recording artist, Ms. Itoh has released thirteen CDs of music by Schumann in a series entitled Schumanniana on the Fontec label. Other CDs on the same label include two recordings of Brahms Concerto No. 1, a recording Brahms Concerto No. 2 and Ravel’s Concerto in G major, the Chopin Études, a collection of music by Poulenc, a CD featuring works by Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, among others.
A keen chamber musician, Ms. Itoh often partners violinists Tsugio Tokunaga, with whom she has recorded the complete Beethoven and Brahms sonatas, and Tomoko Kato, with whom she released a CD of sonatas by French composers.
Ms. Itoh is a regular guest performer in NHK television’s Meikyoku Classics (Well-known Classics) series, and her engaging personality made her a popular radio host on the much-loved NHK programme O-shaberi Classics (Classic Chat), introducing classical music in a relaxed manner.
In 1993 she was awarded the 19th Annual award of the Japan Chopin Association and a year later received the Cultural Arts Support Award of the City of Yokohama in recognition of her services to classical music.
Since 2003, she has been engaged as Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. She also teachs at Toho Gakuen College Music Department.
Serge, Zimmermann (Violin)
Serge Zimmermann, born 1991 in Cologne/Germany into a family of musicians, received his first violin lessons by his mother at the age of five. His musicianship developed rapidly and he made his orchestral debut already a few years later, in 2000, with a violin concerto by Mozart. Since then, he has appeared with renowned orchestras such as Bamberg Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Philharmonia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Orquesta Nacional de España, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra della RAI Torino. He has collaborated with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Lawrence Foster, Hartmut Haenchen, Manfred Honeck, Neeme Järvi, Michael Sanderling and Sir András Schiff. In recital and as an avid chamber musician he has performed in prestigious concert halls such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin and Vienna Konzerthaus as well as at festivals such as Heidelberger Frühling, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Kissinger Sommer and La Folle Journée.His most recent projects include concerts with the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras as well as a tour with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. In Japan, he recently performed Alban Berg’s violin concerto with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and gave solo recitals in Tokyo and Yokohama featuring music by J. S. Bach.In autumn 2017, Hänssler Classic released his debut recording where he can be heard together with Frank Peter Zimmermann and the Berliner Barock Solisten in J. S. Bach’s double concerto BWV 1060.He will perform with Bamberger Symphoniker conducted by Mr. Jakub Hrusa in next season.
Yeree, Suh (Soprano)
Mario, Caroli (Flute)
Mario Caroli started the flute at the age of 14 and he got his soloist diploma only five years later, when he was 19. He studied with Annamaria Morini and he has been deeply influenced by the great Austrian flutist Manuela Wiesler. At the age of 22, he won in Darmstadt the very coveted international prize “Kranchstein”, which allows him to start a very intense solo career, thanks to an incredible capability of adapting to any kind of repertoire, and particularly developped all over Europe, USA and Japan. His activity starts, as a logical prosecution of the Darmstadt Prize, as an advocate of contemporary music: his fame develops very quickly, and he becomes the preferred interpreters of some of the most important composers of our time. Salvatore Sciarrino, Gyorgy Kurtag, Doina Rotaru, Toshio Hosokawa, Ivan Fedele, Kaija Saariaho, Joji Yuasa and many others write for him beautiful solo pieces and flute concertos, which significantly help the development of the solo flute literature. After years dedicated exclusively to this activity, his career turns again toward to the wide repertoire, without distinction of styles. This makes his figure completely apart from all the other soloists, absolutely unique and always surprising for his always new and fresh approach to his interpretations, who posses any incredible virtuosity as well as a vibrant personality. The critics have unanimously talked about him as a “phenomenon” for his overwhelming interpretations of Bach, Schubert or Debussy, and the “New York Times” has underlined the exceptional quality of his sound, by writing that “you would drink in”.Regularly present in the most prestigious festivals all over the world, Mario has performed at the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonie, at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at Wiener Konzerthaus, at Royal Festival Hall in London, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, at the Lincoln Center in New York, Scala of Milano, al Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, at the Herkulessaal in Münich or at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He has been a soloist invited by orchestras such Philhamonia in London, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestras of the Italian (RAI), German (WDR, SWR) and Roumanian Radio, Orchestre National de Belgique, Icelandic National Orchestra, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Aukso Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Opera Houses of Bari, Cagliari, Verona, Rouen and Stuttgart, the Neue Vocalsolisten, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the Ensemble Contrechamps of Geneva, under the baton of very important conductors.Mario has recorded about 40 cds, which got countless prizes from the critics. Invited for masterclasses and seminars from very important musical Institutions through the world, like the “FROMM” residency at Harvard University (Cambridge, USA) in 2008. A cosmopolitan and polyglot artist (he regularly speaks six languages), Mario lives in France, in Strasbourg, where he teaches flute at the Académie Supérieure the Musique and he hold the chair for flute at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, one of the most prestigious flute position of the world. He got a PhD in Philosophy, and he plays a Miyazawa platinum flute.Mario Caroli started the flute at the age of 14 and he got his soloist diploma only five years later, when he was 19. He studied with Annamaria Morini and he has been deeply influenced by the great Austrian flutist Manuela Wiesler.At the age of 22, he won in Darmstadt the very coveted international prize “Kranchstein”, which allows him to start a very intense solo career, thanks to an incredible capability of adapting to any kind of repertoire, and particularly developped all over Europe, USA and Japan. His activity starts, as a logical prosecution of the Darmstadt Prize, as an advocate of contemporary music: his fame develops very quickly, and he becomes the preferred interpreters of some of the most important composers of our time. Salvatore Sciarrino, Gyorgy Kurtag, Doina Rotaru, Toshio Hosokawa, Ivan Fedele, Kaija Saariaho, Joji Yuasa and many others write for him beautiful solo pieces and flute concertos, which significantly help the development of the solo flute literature.After years dedicated exclusively to this activity, his career turns again toward to the wide repertoire, without distinction of styles. This makes his figure completely apart from all the other soloists, absolutely unique and always surprising for his always new and fresh approach to his interpretations, who posses any incredible virtuosity as well as a vibrant personality. The critics have unanimously talked about him as a “phenomenon” for his overwhelming interpretations of Bach, Schubert or Debussy, and the “New York Times” has underlined the exceptional quality of his sound, by writing that “you would drink in”.Regularly present in the most prestigious festivals all over the world, Mario has performed at the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonie, at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at Wiener Konzerthaus, at Royal Festival Hall in London, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, at the Lincoln Center in New York, Scala of Milano, al Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, at the Herkulessaal in Münich or at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He has been a soloist invited by orchestras such Philhamonia in London, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestras of the Italian (RAI), German (WDR, SWR) and Roumanian Radio, Orchestre National de Belgique, Icelandic National Orchestra, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Aukso Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Opera Houses of Bari, Cagliari, Verona, Rouen and Stuttgart, the Neue Vocalsolisten, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the Ensemble Contrechamps of Geneva, under the baton of very important conductors.
Jeroen, Berwaerts (Trumpet)
Jeroen Berwaerts played his solos with astounding virtuosity, eloquence, and deep emotion: a compelling realisation of great music. DIE WELT Belgian trumpeter Jeroen Berwaerts (b. 1975) is a musical force to be reckoned with whose all-embracing love of music knows no boundaries of genre. Praised for his outstanding technical capabilities and sensitive musicality, his repertoire encompasses every epoch, from baroque music to contemporary music and jazz. He has appeared as a soloist with leading orchestras including the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen under conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Yakov Kreizberg, Jun Märkl and Matthias Pintscher.
His recent concert highlights include the Dutch premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s second trumpet concerto Im Nebel with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland, as well as the Belgian premiere of Francesco Filidei’s Carnevale. Jeroen Berwaerts gave the world premieres of both works in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Other highlights include performing at the opening of the chamber music hall of the “Malmö Live” concert and congress centre with the brass section of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, the creation of the Signals from Heaven programme, the continuation of his collaboration with the Ensemble Resonanz and his recent performances in Japan.
Jeroen Berwaerts is only the second trumpeter worldwide – after Håkan Hardenberger, for whom the work was written – to add HK Gruber’s Busking (2007) to his repertoire. His performances of this virtuosic trumpet concerto at the First Hamburg International Music Festival and Bregenz Festival in the summer of 2014 garnered high praise.
As well as his burgeoning trumpet career, Jeroen Berwaerts has completed jazz vocal studies at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent. He has developed several programmes with piano, strings, organ and brass ensemble in which he combines trumpet and voice as well as classical, jazz and other genres in a truly unique way. Jeroen Berwaerts’ open-mindedness and resplendent playing have brought him invitations to internationally renowned music festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Niedersächsische Musiktage, Takefu International Music Festival in Japan, Ars Musica in Belgium, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Rheingau Musik Festival.
Jeroen Berwaerts’ discography was recently complemented with the addition of a recording of Paul Hindemith’s trumpet sonata with Alexander Melnikov. The award-winning CD, released on Harmonia Mundi, features a number of the composer’s sonatas, among them the violin sonata with Isabelle Faust. He previously collaborated with Melnikov on the 2012 recording of Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis, also on Harmonia Mundi. In the same year, NEOS released a recording of Toshio Hosokawa’s Voyage VII featuring him as soloist with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
Jeroen Berwaerts studied in Karlsruhe with the celebrated trumpet-virtuoso Reinhold Friedrich. He has been awarded numerous prizes from competitions such as the Concours Maurice André and the Prague Spring International Music Competition (both 1997).
Since 2008, Jeroen Berwaerts has been a Professor of Trumpet at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover. He is a Yamaha Artist.
Shirai, Kei (Violin)
Japanese violinist Kei Shirai was born in Trinidad and Tobago and began playing the violin at the age of three. As a child he was taught by Tsugio Tokunaga and, while studying at Geidai University of the Arts in Tokyo, by Chikashi Tanaka and Miyoko Yamane-Goldberg. Upon his graduation in 2007, Kei Shirai was awarded a Japanese Government Scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Johannes Meissl. Among his awards at major international competitions are the second prize and the audience prize at the 2009 ARD Competition in Munich. Kei enjoys a multi-faceted career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. His concert engagements take him frequently to Japan’s biggest venues and festivals. In Europe he performs regularly with the Stefan Zweig Trio and the Ludwig Chamber Players: an acclaimed mixed instrumentation ensemble based in Stuttgart. Kei Shirai is a concert master of the Kobe City Chamber orchestra, a post he has held since 2013.
Aida, Ribon (Violin)
Hemmi, Yasutaka (Violin)
Born in Matsue, Japan, HEMMI is one of the most dynamic and active violinists for contemporary music in Japan. He has been invited to many international festivals and given literally dozens of premieres. He has invented new techniques for the violin and collaborated with composers, dancers, visual artists, actors and many others. From 2001 to 2003, he was a member of Champ d’Action (Belgium), and from 2003, he has been a member of ‘next mushroom promotion’ (Osaka). His solo CD ‘Violin Encounters’ was released through Megadisc (Belgium) in 2004. HEMMI’s performances are also available on numerous CDs or DVDs.
Akasaka, Tomoko (Viola)
Tomoko Akasaka won numerous prizes, among them the 1st prize at the 12th Japan classical music competition and the 3rd prize at the 53th Munich International music competition.Tomoko Akasaka has performed as a soloist and chamber musician worldwide. As a soloist she has appeared with the Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Muenchener Kammerorchester, the Orchestre de chamber de Genève, the Filarmonica banatul timisoara, the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the Kremerata Baltica, the Ensemble Contrechamps,and the Japan Symphony orchestra under the baton of conductors like Seiji Ozawa, Johannes Kalitzke, Raman Kofman, Kazuki Yamada, Gheorghe Costin, Olivier Cuendet and Günther Herbig. She has recently given a widely acclaimed series of recitals in Japan, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Germany amongst others. The series of Recitals in Geneva and Tokyo has been broadcasted by Swiss Romande, and NHK-TV. Her chamber music partners included Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Hope, Gidon Kremer, Heinz Holliger, Menahem Pressler, Charles Neidich, Kuss Quartet at international music festivals such as Salzburg Festival Lockenhaus Festival, Bad-Kissingen sommer, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, BBC Proms, Saito-Kinen Festival, Pablo Casals Festival, Luzern and Verbier Festival, Zagreb Chamber music festival, Kronberg Cello Festival, Rio de Janeiro Festival, San Francisco Musical days, Schubertiade and others. Tomoko Akasaka has performed at concert venues including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Berlin, Royal Albert hall in London, Vienna Konzerthaus, Zurich Tonhalle, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Schloss Nymphenburg Munich, Shanghai Grand Theater,and National Centre for the performing arts in Beijing,Geneva Victoria Hall and Grand Théâtre, Her recent collaboration with the composer György Kurtág has had a profound influence on her work as a musician. Tomoko Akasaka studied with Nobuko Imai for whom she worked for as an assistant professor at the Geneva conservatory of music. In addition Ms. Akasaka worked as a guest professor at the conservatory of Neuchâtel. Currently she lives in Berlin.
Makino, Kimi (Viola)
Kimi Makino started playing the violin at the age of 3, and begun viola at 15. She studied at the SOAI University of Music, Osaka, with Machie Oguri, at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva with Nobuko Imai and Miguel Da Silva, and at the Royal Northern College of Music with Garth Knox. She has won numerous prizes, including third prize at the Second Tokyo International Viola Competition, and the Kyoto Aoyama Music Award. She has performed as soloist with the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, amongst others, and participated in various festivals including Viola Space, Verbier Academy, Lucerne Festival, Takefu International, Groba, Open Chamber Music in Prussia cove and Les Estivals de Megève. Since March 2017 she plays in BBC Philharmonic as Assistant Principal. http://www.kimi-makino.com/
Yokosaka, Gen (Cello)
Gen Yokosaka began to play the cello at the age of 4. He won the numerous competitions including Viva Hall Cello Competition in 2002 at the age of 15 (youngest ever winner), Idemitsu Music Award in 2005, Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award in 2008, International Music Competition of ARD Munich (2nd prize in cello category) in 2010. And he had participated at Lucerne Festival Academy. He has performed with most of the main orchestras in Japan including NHK Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. Gen has studied with Katsuro Washio, Hakuro Mohri and Jeean – Guihen Queyras and studied at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart. And he plays a 1710 cello by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri kindly loaned by the Suntory Foundation.
Mizuno, Yuya (Cello)
Yuya Mizuno was born in Tokyo in 1998. He has been learning to play the cello since he was six. He has received several awards in competitions held in Japan. In 2014, he won the Third Prize in the 83rd Music Competition of Japan and in 2015, he won the First Prize and Audience Award in the 13th Tokyo Music Competition. He graduated from Toho Gakuen Music High School at the top of the class and entered the Soloist Diploma Course of Toho Gakuen College on a scholarship. Now he studies under Prof. Sumiko Kurata. He is also on a scholarship from the Ezoe Memorial Foundation. Yuya Mizuno played the cello as a soloist with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Japan Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra in famous music halls in Japan, such as Suntory Hall and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. In 2016, he also performed a solo recital in Tokyo and Shizuoka. He is a promising young Japanese cellist.
Tai, Tomoki (Cello)
Born in Osaka in 1982. He majored cello at Tokyo University of the Arts. He started his activities in a contemporary music performance group <Ensemble Bois> in his college days. He has performed more than 150 world premiere pieces. He played with the Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra as a soloist. He started CD label / concert planning organization <time form record> from 2010. In addition to cello, he plays viola da Gamba and his own electric musical instrument. He won a New Horizon Special Award in Takefu International Music Festival 2012.
Hosoi, Yui (Cello)
He graduated from Tokyo College of Music string department as the top student. While in the college, he earned a scholarship. He appeared in the graduation concert, Yomiuri Shinjin concert. He won the first prize in the 54th Kamakura Student Music Competition Cello division and Nomura Koichi Award. He has participated in the Laurier String Quartet with modern music as the main activity field since 2010. He performed in Project Q Chapter 10, Viola space 2013 Hindemith String Quartet Full Concert, Performance Q Chapter 11, Ensemble Series by JT, Kitakyushu International Music Festival, etc. He won the audience award at the Munetsugu Hall String Quartet Competition 2016. He studied in the master class of Alexander Hülshoff, Wen-Sinn Yang, Hidemi Suzuki, David Geringas, Gustav Rivinius, and Kenji Nakagi. He studied cello under Akira Kubota, Akira Sato, Asako Hisatake, Masaharu Kanda and Dmitry Feygin. Currently working as a member of orchestra, chamber music, and a solo player.
Kitamura, Tomoki (Piano)
Born in Aichi in 1991, Tomoki Kitamura began playing the piano at the age of three. Since his early years he has won prizes at several piano competitions including the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists in 2004, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2006, Sydney International Piano Competition in 2008 and first prize and the Grand Jury Prize at the prestigious Tokyo Music Competition in 2005. He started his career as a recital pianist in 2005 and has been invited by many festivals such as the “Tokyo Summer Festival”, “La Folle Journeé” etc, as well as giving an increasing number of recitals in France and Germany. As a concerto pianist, he has played with many orchestras in Japan including the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Nagoya Symphony Orchestra. His broadcast appearances include “Untitled Concert” (TV Asahi), “Piano-Pia” (NHK). Tomoki Kitamura graduated from the Meiwa High School in Aichi and moved to Berlin since 2011 October. Currently he studies under Rainer Becker at the Universitat der Kunste Berlin. Also he studies harpsichord and fortepiano under Mitzi Meyerson.
Imagawa, Hiroyo (Piano)
Completed study at State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgartand Mozarteum University in Salzburgearninghermaster’s degree with highest honor. She is a Prize winner of several international competitions: the 1st Prize and the specialD ebussy Prize at the Piano Competition “CittàdiSalerno” in 2002, and the same year she won the 2nd Prize at the J.Brahms Competition,followed by the 3rd Prize at the Anton Rubinstein Piano Competition in 2003 and the 2nd Prize at the Schubert Piano Competition in 2005. Being a distinguished soloist, she was invited by NHK Symphony Orchestra,Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Century Orchestra, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra, Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, and St.Petersburg Stage Symphony Orchestra of the Mussorgski Theaters. She started teaching at the Osaka University of Arts Visiting Associate Professor since 2015.
Nakagawa, Ken-ichi (Piano)
Ken’ichi Nakagawa, piano Born in Miyagi pref., Japan, Ken’ichi Nakagawa graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music. He majored piano and conducting. He moved to Belgium to study piano under Robert Groslot and pianoforte under Jos Vam Immerseel at Kroni nkijk Vlaams Concervatorium van Antwerpen, where he finished the High Diploma with Great distinction in 1995, and the Specialization also with Great distinction in 1997. Nakagawa was awarded third prize at the Gaudeamus International Competition in interpreting works in Rotterdam. He plays in Belgium as soloist, chamber music and contemporary music as well as with the Ictus Ensemble, Champ d’action as pianist and assistant conductor. He participated in the Ars Musica Festival in Bruselles and Roymont Festival in Paris. In Japan, he is on high demand as a concert of soloist, chamber musician, and as a conductor in chamber ensemble and chamber operas as well as a member of the Ensemble Nomad, contemporary music ensemble.
Yuya, Tsuda (Piano)
Yuya Tsuda studied at the Tokyo University of the Arts and its graduate school. He has also studied at the Berlin University of the Arts between 2007 and 2011. He has the German national license of performer. He learned piano by Pascal Dovoyon, Gabriel Tacchino, Miyoko Goldberg=Yamane, Hiroshi Kadono and Ruriko Shibuya. Yuya Tsuda received the First Prize, the Audience Prize and the Prize of French Ambassador at the third Sendai International Music Competition. He also received the Special Prize at the Munich International Competition 2011. As piano soloist Yuya Tsuda played with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the German Chamber Orchestra and many Japanese Orchestras. He played together with famous string players, such as Gerard Poulet, Yuzuko Horigome, Teiko Maehashi, Nobuko Yamazaki and Jens Peter Mainz. Yuya Tsuda organized several solo recitals in Tokyo and other cities and received positive recensions. He also performs as member of chamber music ensembles positively. The Duo with Saeka Matsuyama released 4 CDs. He also forms the Piano Trio “Accord” with Kei Shirai and Taiki Kadowaki. In addition, his solo album was released by Fontec in the August 2015. Since spring 2015 he teaches at the Tokyo University of the Arts.
Yamamoto, Junko (Piano)
Junko Yamamoto was born in Japan. She studied contemporary chamber music with Peter Eötvös in Cologne and piano with Claude Helffer in Paris. Currently she is teaching at the University of Music in Stuttgart, Germany and at the University of Music in Basel, Switzerland. She has received awards and grants from the most excellent prize with the Experimental Sound, Art & Performance Festival Tokyo, the special prize for the best performer for spanish contemporary music with the „Xavier Montsalvatge Competition“ in Spain, to the excellent prize with the Cultural Ministry of Ishikawa. Junko Yamamoto as a guest artist has been invited to numerous international music festivals, such as “Le festival musica” in France, “Bartok International Festival” in Hungary, “Biennale Curitiba” in Brazil, “Musicarama Festival” in Hong Kong, “Sinuston Festival” in Germany and “Takefu International Music Festival” in Japan. Her music performances have been broadcasted by Südwestrundfunk, Saarländischer Rundfunk, NHK (Japan), the Hungarian Radio 3, Bayerischer Rundfunk. She founded and directed the “ensemble cross.art”. www.junkoyamamoto.de http://junko-yamamoto.blogspot.de
Oya, Saori (Piano)
After graduating from the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo with a piano major, Saori Oya went to Europe. In 2000, she graduated summa cum laude from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. She received the MA in Music with the Grand Distinction Award for piano, chamber music, and contemporary music. Pursued further chamber music and contemporary music study through specialized courses. She received a Belgian government scholarship, and became a piano professor assistant at the conservatory starting in 2004. In addition to soloist activities, she started a duo with pianist and her brother Yutaka Oya in 2001. They were invited to major domestic and international music festivals. She ambitiously took in works from the classical period to the present, and gained a reputation for having a diverse repertoire. She was active in chamber music, contemporary ensembles (Champ d’Action, Ensemble Musique Nouvelles, Prometheus ensemble, Het Spectra ensemble and worked as a keyboard player in some orchestras. After 10 years of activities in Belgium she returned to Japan. Recently, in addition to performing solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout Japan, she is regularly invited to music festivals in Belgium and Japan. She is also engaged in a wide variety of activities that include conducting outreach programs at schools, giving masterclasses, acting as a judge at competitions, and producing a concert series “Sunday Morning Classic” and “Bonsoir, la Musique”. She received the Fukui Prefecture Cultural Prize, Encouragement Award 2016. Official site www.saorioya.net Official blog http://oyaduo.exblog.jp/
Tomomi Ota started her musical studies with the piano at an early age, then took up the accordion at the age of 10 under Noboru Emori. After graduating from the Senior High School of Kunitachi College of Music in piano, she moved to Germany and studied the accordion under Mie Miki at Hochschule für Musik Detmold Abt. Dortmund (Accordion Education Department) and Folkwang Hochschule Essen (Artists Course). In February 2009, she passed the concerto exam at Folkwang Hochschule Essen with the highest honors. From October 2007, she moved to Vienna and studied at Konservatorium Wien under Grzegorz Stopa. In 2002, she won the third prize at the Third JAA International Accordion Competition (advanced division). Since returning to Japan in the summer of 2009, she has performed widely as a soloist as well as in chamber music and with orchestras. She is also active in collaborating with the composers in creating and premiering new works, as well as perfoming in theatres. Official site: http://www.tomomiota.net