Kenji Watanabe

Kenji Watanabe,Piano

Born in 1954. After graduating from Nagoya Municipal Kikusato High School Music Course, graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts and graduate school. 1st place at the 43rd Japan Music Competition. From 1978 to 1983, studied at the Liszt Conservatory in Hungary. During that time, he won prizes at the Munich International Music Competition, the 1st Japan International Music Competition, and the Liszt-Bartok International Competition. Impressed not only by the duality of Liszt, who is known as "Mephisto wearing a monk's robe," but also by his spirit of service, he has made it his life's work to deepen his spiritual understanding of Liszt's works and strive to spread them. As well as Liszt, he has made efforts to spread the works of Bartok, and as a specialist of Liszt and Bartok representing Japan, he performs, contributes to music magazines, lectures, judges competitions, etc. Since 2005, he has been publishing the Liszt Piano Works Series (original version, revised by Yukio Nomoto, advice on fingering and performance by Kenji Watanabe, Zen-On Score Publishing). In 1986, he was awarded the Liszt Memorial Medal, and in 2018, he was awarded the Hungarian State Order of Merit Officer's Cross for his achievements in introducing Hungarian music culture and promoting cultural exchange between Japan and Hungary. 1986 List Memorial Medal (Hungarian Government), 1992 Sky Day Art Award (Japan Aeronautical Association), 2018 Hungarian State Order of Merit Officer's Cross. Director of the Kawai Sound Technology and Music Foundation, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Japan Piano Education Federation, Chairman of the Japan Solfeggio Research Council, Vice Chairman of the Japan Society for Musical Arts Management, Technical Advisor of Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing. Judge of the Music Competition of Japan, All Japan Student Music Competition, and 2006 Liszt-Bartok International Piano Competition. Chairperson of the 2019 Bartok International Music Competition Jury. 2005-2016 Director of Tokyo University of the Arts, 2005-2013 Vice President. Retired from Tokyo University of the Arts in March 2021. He teaches at the Junior Academy of Tokyo University of the Arts. Part-time lecturer at Hokkaido University, professor emeritus at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Official website

photo credit

©Ayane Shindo

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