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, Takenouchi has appeared on many concert platforms including 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 projects have included a recital for 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 the then Prince of Wales, and BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week, for which Hiroaki has recorded solo piano works by William Sterndale Bennett and Alexander Campbell Mackenzie. More recently he was invited to make further recordings for the programme, this time of Hélène de Montgeroult, Doreen Carwithen and Johanna Müller-Hermann amongst others, as part of BBC Radio 3’s initiative, the ‘Forgotten Women Composers Project’.
Takenouchi’s discography includes Schumann & Sterndale Bennett (Artalinna), Haydn: 4 Sonatas (Artalinna), Cosmos Haptic: Contemporary Piano Music from Japan (LORELT), as well as world première recordings of works by James Dillon (NMC), Edwin Roxburgh (NMC) and Jeremy Dale Roberts (LORELT). 2022 saw the releases of his latest solo disc on French specialist piano label Artalinna, featuring multi-movement works by Grieg, Medtner and Dupré, followed by a two-piano arrangement of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony for Lyrita with pianist Simon Callaghan. The duo has also recorded two-piano arrangements of Delius’s orchestral works (SOMM), a disc of Percy Sherwood and Parry (Lyrita) and two-piano arrangements by Saint-Saëns of sonatas by Chopin and Liszt (Nimbus). Hiroaki is also editor of the published scores of Sherwood’s two-piano works (as recorded for Lyrita), now available from Nimbus Music Publishing. His recording of the Mendelssohn and Sterndale Bennett Sextets with members of Sinfonia Cymru (Artalinna) was released in May 2023.
The Russian composer Georgy Catoire’s music is somewhat neglected today but 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 premiere of the Piano Concerto with London Phoenix Orchestra, the first performance since its premiere in 1920 at The Proms.
Hiroaki has performed a complete cycle of Mozart’s piano sonatas, spread over eight concerts at London’s Conway Hall, a feat which he repeated across five concerts in three days at the Gauteng International Arts Festival in Pretoria, South Africa.
Hiroaki Takenouchi is a Blüthner Artist and owns a beautiful 1922 Blüthner piano. He gave a concert in Leipzig’s Weißes Haus as part of the Blüthner Master Series in September 2020.
Takenouchi teaches piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow). He also returns every summer to give masterclasses at the Ingenium International Music Academy (UK).