Aki Takahashi is a Japanese pianist known for her imaginative interpretations of 20th century composers including Morton Feldman and John Cage.
Takahashi began studying piano at the age of five and made her debut performance, playing the music of Toru Takemitsu, whilst still a graduate student.
Since her debut, she has been very active in performing new music and has toured extensively throughout the world and been active in performing new music at various festivals, including ULTIMA Oslo Contemporary Music Festival and the BBC Proms in London.
She is a distinguished recording artist whose works have achieved critical acclaim. Her landmark recording, Aki Takahashi Piano Space, received the Merit Prize at the Japan Art Festival in 1973 and a series of Erik Satie concerts triggered a boom in the composer’s work throughout Japan. A collection of recordings entitled “Hyper Beatles” – a project inviting 47 renowned composers including John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and Ryuichi Sakamoto to create works inspired by various Beatles tunes – was hailed by the New York Times as the Best CD of 1990.
She was the director of the New Ears concert series in Yokohama City (1983-97), a showcase for new music, including commissioned works with new technologies.
In 2007, she was awarded the ”Art Encouragement Prize” by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture & Science for her CD of Schubert’s piano sonatas.
Many 20th Century composers have written pieces for her including John Cage, Peter Garland, Alvin Lucier, Isang Yun and Morton Feldman. The latter composer described her performance of his work Triadic Memories as having the effect of being invited to a religious ritual.
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