"A fabulous artist, and a prince among peers" - Michael Church, The Independant
« His comprehensively superb artistry places him in the exceptional class » - Robert Matthew-Walker, www.classicalsource.com
Born in Tokyo, Kotaro Fukuma began learning piano at the age of five and has received many high awards in international competitions, including the Arthur Rubinstein (Tel Aviv), Paloma O’Shea (Santander), Maj Lind (Helsinki), BNDES (Rio De Janeiro), and Gina Bachauer (Salt Lake City).
In 2003, at the age of 20, Kotaro won both First Prize and the Chopin Prize at the 15th Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Since then his concert career has developed on five continents.
Kotaro has performed in major concert venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, the Wigmore Hall in London, at both the Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus in Berlin, in the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Salle Olivier Messiaen in Paris, Victoria Hall (Geneva), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), Sala Mozart (Zaragoza), Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), Oriental Center (Shanghai) and Suntory Hall and Opera City (Tokyo), Miami International Piano Festival, La Roque d'Anthéron and Piano aux Jacobins, ...
His performances with orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Île de France National Orchestra, Galicia Royal Philharmonic, Japan Century Philharmonic and New Japan Philharmonic, under the direction of such conductors as Yuri Simonov, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Juanjo Mena, Asher Fisch, Hannu Lintu, Lawrence L. Smith, François- Xavier Roth, Jahja Ling, Kazuyoshi Akiyama and Kazuki Yamada.
Beginning of July 2016, with 24h-notice he steped in for Nelson Freire to perform Brahms' Piano concerto n°2 with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse under Tugan Sokhiev.
This concert was broadcasted live on Medici.tv.
For his upcoming projects, we can note recitals in France (Rouen, Cluses, Lyon), in Germany (Schloss Elmau, Berlin, Hambourg), in Denmark, in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka,…) and also concerts with the Georgisches Kammerorchester in Germany (Concerto n°2 of James MacMillan, conducted by Mihhail Gerts), several programs in Japan (Mozart Kv.595 with the NHK Orchestra, Kv.459 and Kv.491 with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in play-conduct, the Concerto no°2 of Brahms with the Tokyo New City Philharmonic and the Concerto n°3 of Osawa with the Japan Philharmonic, conducted by Kazuki Yamada).
He will be also on tour, on one hand in Argentina and in the United States, and on the other in Austria, with the Tonkünstler-Orchester (Concerto n°4 of Beethoven).
Passionate about contemporary music, Kotaro has performed world and national premieres of works by Toru Takemitsu, Mutsuo Shishido, Renaud Gagneux, Thierry Escaich, Thierry Huillet, Peter Klatzow and Francesco Milita.
Kotaro Fukuma has released ten commercial CDs: two for Naxos (Schumann, Takemitsu), two for the Japanese label Accustika (Liszt, Toppan Live Recital), one for Harmony-Hortus (Iberia d’Albéniz), one for Denon-Hortus (Debussy) and his last recordings, for Denon in Japan and Hortus in Europe, are dedicated to Russian music (« Dumka », 2014), Chopin (« Autour des ballades », 2015) and water («Sing to Water", 2016).
His Mozart (Concerto n°9)/Schumann recording with the Yokohama Sinfonietta under Kazuki Yamada was released for Denon beginning of 2016.
His recordings have received critical acclaim in such music magazines as Gramophone, Diapason, American Music Records, Monde de la Musique, Classica, Bayern 4 Klassik and Classic Today.
Kotaro studied music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (2001-2005) with Bruno Rigutto and Marie-Françoise Bucquet, then at the Universität der Künste Berlin (2005-2010) with Klaus Hellwig and at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy (2006-2009).
He also has taken masterclasses with several great masters of the piano, including Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Alicia de Larrocha, Maria Joao Pires, Leslie Howard and Aldo Ciccolini.
Kotaro Fukuma lives in Berlin.