György Ligeti: Selections from Piano Études
Pierre Boulez: Second Piano Sonata
Pierre Boulez: Third Piano Sonata (version 2021: Antiphonie, Trope, Constellation-Miroir)
György Ligeti’s études and Pierre Boulez’s sonatas have long been Taka Kigawa’s specialty. He has performed those pieces many times worldwide, garnering unanimous praise from both critics and audiences alike. For his Ligeti performance, The New York Times wrote in the headline, “Taka Kigawa Masters the Conflicting Rhythms of Ligeti.” The Wall Street Journal hailed, “The pianist Taka Kigawa gave an electrifying traversal of all 18 Ligeti Études, a kaleidoscopic set of works that demands the unrelenting energy and precision that are Mr. Kigawa’s specialties.” For his Boulez performance, The New York Times has written: “Boulez’s Piano Solos in Taka Kigawa’s Hands.”; “Mr. Kigawa’s feat deserves the highest praise, especially since it was combined with such alacrity and sensitivity to the musical material”; and, “Mr. Kigawa recast the [Boulez] sonata as an essay in how to apply suppleness to virtuosity, and the result was an energetic but also characterful account.” La Nacíon, Argentina’s leading paper, wrote that “Kigawa, whose rhythmic sensibility is truly astonishing, proved to be a real master.” Pierre Boulez himself highly praised Kigawa’s performance of his works: “I was very much impressed by the brilliant way he performed them. He was precise, and at the same time inventive.”
Critically acclaimed pianist TAKA KIGAWA has earned outstanding international recognition as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber music artist since winning First Prize in the prestigious 1990 Japan Music Foundation Piano Competition in Tokyo, and the Diploma Prize at the 1998 Concurs Internacional Maria Canals De Barcelona in Spain, with such accolades from The New York Times as “Phenomenon. There’s no denying that he is something special,” “The extraordinary pianist.” and from The New Yorker “Unbelievably challenging program. Kigawa is an artist of stature.” and from La Nación (Buenos Aires) “Taka Kigawa is a stupendous virtuoso.” His New York City recital in 2010 was chosen as one of the best concerts of the year by The New York Times. His New York City recital in August 2011 was picked as one of the most notable concerts in the 2011-2012 season by Musical America. Also his Buenos Aires recital in April 2014 was chosen as one of the best concerts of the year by Argentina’s leading paper, La Nación.
He has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland, Paris, Milan and Barcelona, with appearances in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Plau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He frequently tours in his native Japan, appearing in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagano and Kyoto, both as a recitalist and a soloist with orchestra and in chamber music groups. He has performed with such distinguished institution as The Cleveland Orchestra. He has been a featured artist on many television and radio networks throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.
His repertoire is extremely large and varied, ranging from the baroque to avant-garde compositions of today. He has collaborated closely with such renowned musicians as Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung and Jonathan Nott. Also he premiered the last solo piano piece of Yusef Lateef, the jazz legend, in New York City in 2013.
Mr. Kigawa grew up in Nagano, Japan, where he began piano studies at the age of three, winning his first competition at the age of seven. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Shinsyu University, and his Master of Arts degree from Tokyo Gakugei (Liberal Arts) University, graduating with honors in Piano Performance. During both his undergraduate and graduate years, he also studied composition and conducting, receiving high honors in both disciplines. He furthered his studies in the United States at The Juilliard School in New York, where he earned his Master of Music degree. Mr. Kigawa currently lives in New York City, U.S.A.
Review for Taka Kigawa’s latest concert at (le) Poisson Rouge: Review: Taka Kigawa Masters the Conflicting Rhythms of Ligeti – The New York Times