Shoko Kusuhara, Japan
Shoko Kusuhara was born in Chiba, Japan. She showed her interest in piano from a very young age and started musical experience in class for children attached to Toho-Gakuen School of Music at the age of four. She gained recognition in young age, getting prizes in the competition for young talent in her country. She finished Toho Music High School and Toho Gakuen School of Music in class Prof. Hidemitsu Hayashi. She then completed piano studies with Prof. Barbara Hesse-Bukowska and Maria Wilkomirska at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Her staying in Poland took place during a momentous period in Polish history, coincided with the Solidarity, strikes, protests and severe food shortages. This left an indelible impression and initiated a lifelong affinity for this country.
A First Prizewinner of the Bela Siki Piano Competition in Sydney 1989 which extended her concert activities, thanks to which she went on her concert tour in Australia.
Pianist has given recitals in Japan, Tokyo, Yokohama Nagoya and other cities all over country, including at the YAMAHA Hall sponsored by Yamaha Corporation, Chopin Festival organized by KAWAI-Chopin society etc.
She has regularly invited by F.Chopin society of Poland for the Chopin’s Sunday concert at his birth place Zelazowa Wola and Warsaw Ladzienki Park. Since 1997 has invited every year by International Piano Festival as a soloist ‘Summer with Chopin’ in Busko-Zdroj. 2006-2010 she had been a guest pianist and professor in International Poland Music Festival & Seminar in Naleczow. Performed also in Gdansk, Slupsk Piano Festival, Karzimierz dolny and other cities. Her recording of Chopin’s mazurkas for radio Gdansk were broadcasted.
Shoko has performed as a soloist with Bamberger Symphoniker & United Orchestra in Bicentennial Memorial New Year concert 2000 in Bamberg Germany, New Philharmonic Orchestra Tokyo.
Giving numerous lecture concerts and master-classes about Chopin and polish composer’s works especially dance music as mazurkas and polonaises, Shoko Kusuhara is recognized an authentic pianist one who deeply understands Polish music. This year she performs Juliusz Zarebski’s piano works, among them Grand Polonaise Op.6, Les Roses et Les Epines Op.13 and Piano Quintet G minor Op.34
She has worked as a jury member in International Chopin Piano Competition in Asia and other competitions in Japan. Currently she is a lecturer in Toho-Gakuen School of Music.