Yuki HASEGAWA, biography

Yuki Hasegawa is a musical polymath whose career embraces roles as a conductor, arranger and pianist. To date she is the only Japanese finalist of the Arthur Nikisch International Conducting Competition.

Born in Tokyo, Yuki Hasegawa began piano lessons at an early age, studying with Professor Fujiko Yamada. She went on to study with Thierry Huillet in Toulouse and Arnulf von Arnim in Germany, alongside tuition in chamber music with Jean-Pierre Sabouret (concertmaster of the Opéra National de Paris), Eric LeSage and Paul Meyer; orchestration with Alain Louvier; écriture musicale with Bernard de Crepy; and orchestral conducting with Renato Rivolta and Vincent Renaud, among others. In 2019, she was as a trainee at the Tokyo College of Music’s conducting department directed by Junïchi Hirokami, receiving further tuition from Toshihiro Yonezu.

Yuki Hasegawa is a graduate of the Kunitachi College of Music (piano), the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris-CNR (chamber music, écriture musicale and orchestration), and the Milano Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado (orchestral conducting). She also studied écriture musicale at CNSM-Lyon.

Yuki Hasegawa is the laureate of many piano competitions in France, Italy and Austria (including the Brahms Competition in Pörtschach), as well as numerous competitions in chamber music and orchestral conducting.

As a pianist, Yuki Hasegawa has worked as an accompanist and pianist in numerous ensembles, in which contexts she is valued for her understanding, fluid musicality and intuitive attitude to rehearsals and concert performances. She has been on the jury of several music competitions, including piano prizes, and has been involved with aspects of music education at a number of institutions.

In 2020 she released several piano albums on streaming platforms, encompassing both solo and chamber works, including live recordings as part of Duo Cordiale with Mika Takeuji on flute, with whom she has won three First Prizes at chamber music competitions in Paris.

Yuki Hasegawa’s piano recitals have received warm audience responses, including: “a very eloquent and three-dimensional impression that made good use of a dynamic playing style…” “… she brought out the characteristics of each piece well, and made us feel once again that the piano, as an instrument, is equipped with a rich, expressive capability comparable to that of an orchestra”.

As an arranger, Yuki Hasegawa has published several of her own piano transcriptions, often created for specific concert performances. These include her cello and piano version of Franck’s Violin Sonata for cellist Aurélien Sabouret, principal cello with Paris Opera, and her piano transcriptions of Debussy’s Prélude à l’aprèsmidi d’un faune, and Arban’s Variations on a theme from the Carnival of Venice, featured on the recital album of tubist Jun Miyanishi, then principal with the Taiwan Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan.

Conducting highlights include regular invitations to direct the Japan-Croatia Music Society, with whom she has interpreted works such as Croatian composer Boris Papandopulo’s Sinfonietta in Japan, an occasion that was greeted with considerable critical acclaim: “A wonderful programme full of nobility, romanticism and also folk elements, and it is of great significance to have premiered such an excellent piece in Japan…” “The performance unfolded like a burst of energy right from the beginning…” “… vibrant with a good sense of neoclassical style”. The programme also featured symphonic music by Luka Sorkočević, for which Yuki Hasagawa was praised for communicating the slow movement’s “charming sorrow” as well as “a composition style that has an Italianate brightness”.

As a chamber musician, Yuki Hasegawa is passionate about the experimental repertoire of the early 20th century, including works by Castillon, Stenhammar, Juon, Pilati, Roussel, Vierne, Schulhoff, Lekeu and others. She has crafted programmes involving these composers alongside more mainstream repertoire, resulting in a CD with Jean-Pierre Lacour, former violinist of the Orchestre de Paris, and a versatile concert series that can be enjoyed by both the classical connoisseur and the uninitiated.

Yuki Hasegawa divides her time between Paris and Tokyo, enabled by her ‘Talent Passport’ (a multi-year residence permit for a foreigner in France). Yuki Hasegawa is affiliated with several organisations with whom she enjoys a close professional relationship, including Pro Arte Musicae, the Irish Music Rights Organisation, the agency Ensemble Cordiale, of which she is President, Édition les bons concerts, and Lyrica Records.


(Editor: Joanna Wyld,  Updated: October 29th, 2020)

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