The adventuresome, internationally-acclaimed pianist Taka Kigawa, will be giving two performances in Greencastle this week, one as part of the Greencastle Summer Music Festival in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.
On Tuesday, June 25 at 8:30 p.m. Kigawa will perform in Starbucks. He'll give an informal performance and talk about his busy and varied career, which has taken him from concert halls to nightclubs to playing this past Friday in the middle of Cornelia St. in Greenwich Village as part of the Make Music New York Festival.
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. he'll be the featured performer at the Greencastle Summer Music Festival in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, performing music by the American composers Elliot Carter and John Cage and the French impressionist master Claude Debussy.
Both events are free and open to the public. The first 20 people to arrive at Tuesday's Starbuck's event will receive a free drink, courtesy of Starbucks and the festival sponsors.
Eric Edberg, the Emison Professor of Creative and Performing Arts at DePauw University and the artistic director of the festival explains, "Our expanding mission with these summer concerts is to 'bring the community together with friends making music for friends.' Taka is an delightful, down-to-earth person who I've performed with several times in New York. I want to give people in the community--especially those who don't usually go to 'classical' concerts, an opportunity to talk with and hear him play in an informal setting."
Kigawa has one of the largest followings of any musician in New York City, Edberg says, and has performed more times than any other classical artist at [le] poisson rouge, the subterranean Greenwich Village multimedia arts cafe that has also presented Yoko Ono, Yo-Yo Ma, and numerous jazz, rock, and contemporary musicians.
"Think you don't like classical music? Or think contemporary classical music is off-putting?" asks Edberg. "Taka will show you how exciting and adventuresome music can be. And he's just an amazing person and good friend whom I'm delighted to introduce to our community."
Kigawa has earned outstanding international recognition as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber music artist since winning First Prize in the prestigious 1990 Japan Music Foundation Piano Competition in Tokyo, and the Diploma Prize at the 1998 Concurs Internacional Maria Canals De Barcelona in Spain.
Kigawa's New York City recital in 2010 was chosen as one of the best concerts of the year by The New York Times, and his New York City recital in August 2011 was picked as one of the most notable concerts in the first half of the 2011-2012 season by Musical America. He has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland, Paris, Milan and Barcelona, with appearances in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Gaveau in Paris, and Plau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
He has performed with such distinguished institution as The Cleveland Orchestra. He has been a featured artist on many television and radio networks throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.
His repertoire is extremely large and varied, ranging from the baroque to avant-garde compositions of today. He has collaborated closely with such renowned musicians as Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung and Jonathan Nott.
Mr. Kigawa grew up in Nagano, Japan, where he began piano studies at the age of three, winning his first competition at the age of seven. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Shinsyu University, and his Master of Arts degree from Tokyo Gakugei (Liberal Arts) University, graduating with honors in Piano Performance. During both his undergraduate and graduate years, he also studied composition and conducting, receiving high honors in both disciplines.
He furthered his studies in the United States at The Juilliard School in New York, where he earned his Master of Music degree. Mr. Kigawa currently lives in New York, USA.