Kazumasa Watanabe

Conductor

Biography

Born in Tokyo, he performed Haydn's Piano Concerto in D with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8. He took first place in the elementary and middle school piano division of the Japan National Student Music Competition both in 1978 and 1980. In 1987 he went to Europe to take a piano master class at the Darmstadt Music Academy under Hans Leigraf.
He made his conducting debut with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991. He became a student conductor of that orchestra in 1992, its assistant conductor in 1994 and conductor in 1996. In 1995 he also became Permanent Conductor of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra.
Watanabe has won acclaim for performances of Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto and works by Ravel, Mozart and Gershwin. He conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra for the first time in 1998 and he will conduct the subscription concerts of the orchestra in June 2006.  
At present, Watanabe is conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra . He has studied conducting under Shunsaku Tsutsumi and Kaszuyoshi Akiyama, piano under Aiko Iguchi, Kazuko Aruga and Takashi Hironaka and composition under Akira Miyoshi. He has also studied the violin, the horn and chamber music.

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Kazumasa Watanabe
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