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Blind since birth, Nobuyuki Tsujii was joint Gold Medal winner at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. An inspirational musician with a formidable technique and a natural gift for pianistic colour, he has earned international recognition in recent years for the excitement of his live performances. As a concerto soloist he has appeared among others with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy, the BBC Philharmonic with both Juanjo Mena and Yutaka Sado, Seattle Symphony under Stilian Kirov, and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana with Thierry Fischer. Recent engagements have included the “unparalleled excitement” (The Observer) of his BBC Proms/Royal Albert Hall debut, his solo recital debut in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, and a major tour of Japan with the BBC Philharmonic. He has also given recitals in recent seasons at the Aspen and Ravinia Festivals, and in Washington D.C, Boston, Berlin and Munich.  In his home country he has appeared with all the major Japanese orchestras including NHK Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Japan Philharmonic and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. Highlights of 2013/14 include a major tour of the U.S. and Japan with the Orpheus Chamber

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Blind since birth, Nobuyuki Tsujii was joint Gold Medal winner at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

An inspirational musician with a formidable technique and a natural gift for pianistic colour, he has earned international recognition in recent years for the excitement of his live performances.

As a concerto soloist he has appeared among others with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy, the BBC Philharmonic with both Juanjo Mena and Yutaka Sado, Seattle Symphony under Stilian Kirov, and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana with Thierry Fischer.

Recent engagements have included the “unparalleled excitement” (The Observer) of his BBC Proms/Royal Albert Hall debut, his solo recital debut in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, and a major tour of Japan with the BBC Philharmonic. He has also given recitals in recent seasons at the Aspen and Ravinia Festivals, and in Washington D.C, Boston, Berlin and Munich.  In his home country he has appeared with all the major Japanese orchestras including NHK Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Japan Philharmonic and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.

Highlights of 2013/14 include a major tour of the U.S. and Japan with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, which includes his return to Carnegie Hall, a further appearance with the BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena, and a tour of Japan with Ensemble Kanazawa and Vladimir Ashkenazy.  Elsewhere he makes debuts with the Baltimore Symphony, the Filarmonica della Scala under Gergiev, and the Munich Symphony at the Munich Philharmonie.  In recital he will embark on an extensive programme of touring in his native Japan as well as giving a number of recitals in the U.S. and Europe including the Chamber Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie.

Nobuyuki Tsujii records exclusively for Avex Classics, and has made a number of best-selling recordings in recent years including Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 with DSO Berlin, an all-Chopin recital disc, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Yukata Sado and the BBC Philharmonic, a Mozart recital disc, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. A live DVD recording of his 2011 Carnegie Hall recital was DVD of the Month in Gramophone magazine, and a live DVD ‘Nobuyuki Tsujii at White Nights’, his debut with Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, has recently been released.  Both are distributed by Naxos in the U.S. and Euroarts in Europe.

Nobuyuki Tsujii’s international tours are supported by All Nippon Airways (ANA), and he gratefully acknowledges their assistance.

August 2013.  Use of any previously dated biographies is not authorised. Please contact IMG Artists if you wish to edit this biography in any way.

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Reviews

"There are moments when this young man could easily take his place alongside legendary Lisztians...such is the nobility and breadth of his conception. I always rejoice in the surge and passion of this music, but I can't remember being as moved as I was here... Tsujii is as grand and glittering as one could wish for..."

MusicWeb International

"What makes this all the remarkable is that Tsujii… whose blazing ability… and quixotic phrasing is sometimes reminiscent of Glenn Gould, has a remarkable ability to appear in a world of his own, while remaining on the same wavelength as the orchestra."

The Guardian

"In his native Japan, the 24-year-old is mobbed wherever he goes, and expect rapturous receptions over here, too, after his performance at this summer’s Proms, when he was given a standing ovation. Critics have described his talent as ‘God given’… His mesmerising performances have been said to have ‘healing’ and ‘spiritual’ qualities."

Daily Mail

"Pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii [made] something rich and luminous out of Rach Two [Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto]"

The Independent

"Marine romanticism [of David Matthews’ ‘A Vision of the Sea’] was followed by the unparalleled excitement of hearing the 24-year-old Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. It was one of those rare performances where player and music seem one – a definition of virtuosity…it was hard not to think that being unable to see had allowed Tsujii to ‘see’ the music with unmediated intensity."

The Observer

"Nobuyuki Tsujii proved he has a sensitive ear, a light touch and the sort of technique that needs no allowances… Tsujii was greeted with an enormous, sustained ovation – justifiably so."

Financial Times

"His opening chords were spectral wisps but they swelled to a ripe fullness, after which he was off in an interpretation of notable restraint and refinement… he dominated the Adagio [of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2] with easy grace, giving its lyrical lines a sweet sincerity, and avoiding all temptation to milk the music for emotional effect. His way with the Scherzo was beautifully judged, with brilliant passage-work and exuberant power. His encore – Liszt’s ‘La Campanella’ – was exquisite."

The Independent

"The Japanese Nobuyuki Tsujii, blind from birth, is already the winner of prestigious awards but I cannot have been alone in wondering how he learnt the music or how impeccable ensemble was achieved with Mena, whose back was turned to the keyboard throughout. Tsujii brought a singing tone and eloquent phrasing to the solo part. It was profoundly moving that the only person who could not witness his deserved standing ovation was Tsujii himself."

Evening Standard

"Not surprisingly, the atmosphere in the hall is electric, the applause thunderous; and so it should be, for it's a truly epic reading of this great score...I'm now utterly convinced Nobuyuki Tsujii is that rarest of creatures, a unique and precious talent that marries technical prowess with daunting levels of insight and flair... A profound and bewitching talent; inspiring in every way."

MusicWeb International

"There's terrific weight and thrust to Tsujii's playing here, and his articulation is always impressive. Most revealing is the sense of liberation, of a piece broken out of amber and allowed to move and breathe in the most natural and instinctive way. "

MusicWeb International

"...clearly the piece holds no terror for Tsujii...it only takes a few seconds to understand that this is no one-trick wannabe but an artist of considerable substance and style. There's colour, there's brio and there's humour, and it leaves one slack-jawed in wonderment. "

MusicWeb International

"[Nobuyuki Tsujii] played steadily and flawlessly, his soft touch, diamond cutter’s precision, richness of sound and virtuoso performing manner all attesting to the fact that this gifted young man forms part of the new generation of brilliant young Japanese performers. (translated from Russian)"

Orpheus Radio - Russian State TV/Radio centre

"The Prokofiev [Piano Concerto No. 3] is percussive and highly complex rhythmically, and Tsujii played it with great precision - a remarkable achievement. "

Bachtrack

"Nobuyuki Tsujii maintained a dizzying momentum, particularly in the outer movements… the second movement’s barbaric qualities were finely observed"

Classicalsource

"It is remarkable that [Nobu] has attained an impressive technique that enables him to navigate the keyboard confidently and accurately in difficult repertory. "

The New York Times

"Nobu gave a near-flawless account of Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto with the on-form BBC Philharmonic conducted by Yutaka Sado. He began his opening solo somewhat tentatively, but he was soon in his stride and was clearly enjoying the occasion. "

Bachtrack

"lt's almost beyond imagining that he has learned scores as formidable as Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto and Beethoven‘s Hammerklavier Sonata by ear...Through all three rounds, he played with unfailing assurance, and his unforced, utterly natural Chopin E minor Piano Concerto was an oasis of loveliness..."

The Dallas Morning News

"Soloist Tsujii, blind from birth, gave a performance of [Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto] that matched the name. He has fingers of steel, a bronze sonority and an inexorable rhythmic thrust that was perfect for this work."

Palm Beach Daily News

"Tsujii delivered a satisfying performance …"

Baltimore Sun

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Discography

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    Carnegie Hall Debut Live

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    Nobuyuki Tsujii Live at Carnegie Hall (DVD)

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    My Favorite Chopin

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    A surprise in Texas, the thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    2009

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    2009

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 2008

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    Suntory Hall Live 2008 (DVD) 2008

  • Nobuyuki Tsujii

    Debut 2007