The Independent gave Kotaro Fukuma’s Wigmore Hall recital a five-star review, calling him “a fabulous artist” while Classical Source called another performance at the same venue, “Brilliant, virtuosic, breathtakingly exciting […]: sensitive, colourful, technically fearless”.
Kotaro Fukuma has performed in many of the most important concert venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, New York City; Wigmore Hall, London; Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Berlin; Gewandhaus, Leipzig; Salle Gaveau, Paris; Victoria Hall, Geneva; Auditorio Nacional, Madrid; and Suntory Hall, Tokyo. He has also played with prestigious orchestras like the Cleveland Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and NHK Symphony Orchestra, under conductors such as Yuri Simonov, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Tugan Sokhiev, François-Xavier Roth, Asher Fisch, Hannu Lintu, Juanjo Mena, Jahja Ling, Mikhail Gerts, and Kazuki Yamada.
Kotaro began learning piano at the age of 5, in Tokyo, where he was born. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Bruno Rigutto and Marie-Francoise Bucquet and then attended the Universität der Kunste Berlin where he worked with Klaus Hellwig. He continued his studies at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy. In 2003, he won both the First Prize and the Chopin Prize at the 15th Cleveland International Piano Competition. Since then, Fukuma has played around the world, and released over fifteen commercial CDs to great critical acclaim. He is a Naxos artist.
His recording of Liszt was described as performed “with exactly the right degree of unconquerable fervour” (Musical Opinion). Reviewing the release of “Albéniz: Iberia”, Classica wrote that Fukuma “knows how to animate each piece in the appropriate style with unfeigned elegance and flair”. “Sing to Water”, which includes his own arrangement for Smetana’s “Vltava” was equally lauded by Gramophone magazine: “Fukuma shows that grace and tonal nuance are equally important constituents of his pianistic armoury as his impressive bravura credentials”.
Since 2020, Fukuma has been producing a concert series “Rare Piano Music”, in which he presents pianists playing wonderful rarities by lesser known as well as major composers. Recent performances include La Roque d’Anthéron International Piano Festival, La Folle Journée festivals in Nantes and Tokyo, L’Esprit du Piano festival in Bordeaux, Lille Piano(s) festival, Auf schwarzen und weissen Tasten Festival in Bremen, the Raritäten der Klaviermusik Festival at Husum and solo recitals at Tokyo Opera City, Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore, Schloss Reinbeck, and Hamburg. He currently lives between Berlin, Leiden, and Tokyo.