Music News

Japanese pianist Takahiro Akiba to perform Estonian music in Tallinn Town Hall

On July 26, Japanese pianist Takahiro Akiba will perform in Tallinn Town Hall. In addition to the works by Johann Sebastian  Bach, Sergey Rakhmaninov and Japanese composer Sonomi, the concert programme includes Estonian piano music: „Ballade on a theme of Mart Saar“ (1945) by Eduard Tubin and „The Path of Winter“ (2004) by Tõnu Kõrvits.

Takahiro Akiba (b. 1984 in Yokohama) is a talented young pianist who has a special interest in Estonian music. In 2003–2007, he studied at the Faculty of Music of the Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA / the former name: Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music) with Hideto Nishikawa. He graduated from the university with top honors and, as one of the best four graduates, received the Ataka Award. In 2007–2009, Akiba continued his studies in postgraduate course of TUA with Professor Kenji Watanabe.

In 2009–2011, Akiba furthered his studies at the Moscow State Conservatory with Prof. Mikhail Olenev and Prof. Victor Merzhanov. He also had private studies with Victor Bunin in Moscow, Hideyo Harada in Tōkyō and Anahit Nersesyan in Yerevan, and has participated in the master classes of Vladimir Tropp and Victor Merzhanov in Japan. Akiba has given solo recitals and performed with orchestras in Japan. In 2008, he was invited to the Tokyo Opera-Nomori Festival by Maestro Seiji Ozawa and with a success gave a solo recital at the Tokyo National Museum Hall. In 2010, Akiba performed with a solo recital at the Moscow S. E. Feinberg Music Festival.

Takahiro Akiba has a special relation to Estonian music. He is a member of the Estonia Japan Association since 2002 and International Eduard Tubin Society since 2006. From 2003 on, he has played and studied Estonian piano music in Japan. In 2004, he launched a concert series Estonian Music Project to promote Estonian piano music in Japan. In the framework of the concert series the works of Eduard Tubin, Tõnu Kõrvits, Urmas Sisask, Eduard Oja, Jaan Koha, Heino Eller, Arvo Pärt, Lepo Sumera, Jüri Reinvere and other Estonian composers have been introduced to Japanese audience. Akiba’s Master’s thesis „Organic Structures in the Second Piano Sonata of Eduard Tubin” is the first study about Estonian music written in Japanese. Akiba has also published articles about Estonian music, including „Urmas Sisask's Starry Sky Cycle“ in Japanese magazine Musica Nova in 2008.

Takahiro Akiba's recital will take place on July 26 at 7 PM in Tallinna Town Hall. The programme includes Partita B minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, two movements from the „Shunrei“ (1980) by Japanese composer Sonomi (S. Horii), „Variations on a theme of Corelli“ by Sergey Rakhmaninov, „The Path of Winter“ by Tõnu Kõrvits and „Ballade on a theme of Mart Saar by Eduard Tubin. The last two works were performed by Akiba also at the concert of Estonian piano music „Silent Moods“ on February 9, 2011 in Tōkyō Ichigaya Lutherian Church. The recital found a warm reception. In Musica Nova magazine, the music critic Yūdai Majima extremely positively pointed out Akiba’s musicality and flexible phrasing, „brilliantly revealing passion and emotions hidden in Estonian music“ and „making audible every tiny change of mood“.

Recital of Takahiro Akiba in Tallinna Town Hall is organized by the Estonia Japan Association and supported by the LHV BANK.

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