Heralded by The Times as “just the sort of champion the newest of new music needs”, while being praised as “impeccable in his pianism and unfailing in his idiomatic grasp” by Gramophone, Takenouchi’s curiosity and a natural penchant for integrity makes his playing and vast repertoire unique amongst his generation of pianists: his love for the music of classical masters – particularly Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin – sits side by side with his passion for the music of Medtner, lesser-known British composers such as Sterndale Bennett and Parry, and the contemporary repertoire.
As a soloist, he has appeared on many concert platforms including the Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Opera City and the South Bank Centre. He has also performed at festivals in Bath, Cheltenham and Salzburg and given recitals in the UK, Japan, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and Canada. His more unusual recent projects include: the Rarities of Piano Repertoire Festival in Husum (Germany); a BBC Four documentary The Prince and the Composer on the life and music of Parry alongside HRH The Prince of Wales; BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week piano solo works by Sterndale Bennett broadcast April 2016, and the piano solo works of Alexander Campbell Mackenzie, also recorded for BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week which will be broadcast the week beginning 6 February 2017.
Takenouchi’s discography includes Haydn: 4 Sonatas (Artalinna), Cosmos Haptic: Contemporary Piano Music from Japan (LORELT) as well as the world première recordings of works by James Dillon (NMC), Edwin Roxburgh (NMC) and Jeremy Dale Roberts (LORELT). 2012 saw two further releases: two piano arrangements of Delius’s orchestral works (SOMM with Simon Callaghan).
The Russian composer Georgy Catoire’s music is somewhat neglected today but Hiroaki Takenouchi is a passionate advocate of his Piano Concerto and recorded the work with Martin Yates and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Their recording was released in 2012 on Dutton Epoch along with Percy Sherwood’s Piano Concerto, in another world première recording, which garnered excellent reviews in the press. Towards the end of 2016 Takenouchi went on to give the modern-day première of the Piano Concerto with London Phoenix Orchestra, the first performance since its première in 1920 at The Proms.
April 2017 sees the release of Takenouchi’s Sterndale Bennett/Schumann CD on Artalinna.
Since 2012 Takenouchi has been teaching piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow). He also returns every summer to give master classes at the Poros International Piano Academy (Greece) and Ingenium International Music Academy (UK).
Photo (c) Benjamin Ealovega