Aki Kuroda (PIANIST) her performance

After graduating from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, pianist Aki Kuroda went on to further her studies in Italy with Bruno Mezzena, receiving a degree in twentieth-century piano music with distinction from the Accademia Musicale Pescarese.

Aki performs extensively as a soloist and a chamber musician both in Japan and in Europe, especially in Italy. She won first prizes in the 1993 French Music Competition and the 1997 Contemporary Music Competition. In 1995, she was awarded the Xavier Montsalvage Prize for Performance of Contemporary Piano Music in Spain.

Besides the classical repertoire, Kuroda has performed pieces by many contemporary composers, such as Ligeti, Xenakis, Donatoni, Boulez, Campo, Mochizuki and Takemitsu. In 2003 she gave a brilliant performance in the Teatro Regio di Parma, playing Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and a composition dedicated to her by Maurizio Pisati.

She subsequently performed Michael Jarrell’s Modifications at the Ticino Musica Festival. In 2004, Kuroda gave a wonderful performance of Schoenberg’s Kammersymphonie Op. 9 in its piano solo version in Tokyo and Osaka. At present Kuroda is working with renowned musicians such as the clarinettist Alessandro Carbonare and the Prometheus Quartet..

She has devoted special attention to Astor Piazzolla’s works, to whom her first solo albums are dedicated (Japan Victor). Kuroda is acclaimed not only as a classical and contemporary music pianist, but also as a tango and jazz music performer. Her videogame music recording Final Fantasy X. XIII, Piano Collection has been universally praised. In 2004, she released the album Tarkus and Pictures at an Exhibition, dedicated to the works of Keith Emerson. In 2008, she performed Sylvano Bussotti’s new composition The Poetic Keyboard at the Cagliari Spaziomusica Festival.

Aki Kuroda's 2014 disc 'Firebird', released by the Ordradek label, has also earned her considerable critical acclaim, receiving 5 stars from the BBC Music Magazine among various other distinctions. Kuroda is also a member of the Tokyo Gen'On project and the commission of the Piano Teachers' National Association of Japan (PTNA).

I recall meeting the great Maestro Alberto Ginestera in Geneva, 1977 to gain his approval of my adaptation of the 3rd Movement of his piano concerto, which I named "Toccata". His approval or dismissal of my adaptation weighed heavily upon myself and my band (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) because we'd spent such a lot of time getting it right. I'd originally heard Ginesteras' work in 1969. Earlier, 1971, while creating "Tarkus," Ginestera's influence was pervasive to such an extent that I wanted to create sounds such as his but using unconventional instruments such as the Moog modular system proved testing...nevertheless I gained the Maestro's approval.

It's relatively easy to re-arrange a song that everyone knows and small consolation to find out that although the composer can't sing- he can play. I remember my father advising me when I was fifteen,

"Son, you're never going to make a living if people can’t sing what you write."

I also remember going down to a London nightclub "1982" in the hope of finding a companion. I sat next to a beautiful lady that recognized me from being in the "Rock" business.

"Sing something I might recognize," she requested.

I thought I might try and sing "Lucky Man" but gave up as I sing so bad, deaf people refuse to read my lips.

Trying to sing, "Tarkus" proved more testing furthering my father's point- "Don't sing, play! Needless to say I didn't score that night but went on scoring in manuscript form instead with my first piano concerto.

In this recording is a great degree of controlled sensitivity/madness contained within extreme accuracy while Aki Kuroda's interpretation of "Tarkus" does everything that I aspire to. When I composed this suite I sat at a piano. When I recorded and performed it I made the fullest use of electronics and pyrotechnics, most times to extreme excess. In those days I was playing to 14,000-seated arenas and electronics were necessary in order to carry the sound often beyond the venue. Indeed, with ELP we performed and recorded this piece in quadraphonic sound. Aki proves this is not necessary and approaches "Tarkus" in the manner it was intended. Along with taking extreme license with her fellow musicians. They all encapsulate the meaning of underground/overgound in the 70's with such classical finesse.

Here all the targets hit...played without Moog synthesizers blowing up smoke and ribbon controllers firing flares into the audience, it's what I've always wanted to hear. If I hadn't written it I'd want to listen to stuff like this! I am really, really honoured.

THANK YOU AKI,
KEITH EMERSON




1st. solo album
TANGO PRELUDE-PIAZZOLLA PIANO WORKS

*ASTOR PIAZZOLLA
01. LIBERTANGO
02. DECARISIMO
03. VASISIMO
*SUITE PARA PIANO
04. PRELUDIO
05. SICILIANA
06. TOCCATA
*SUITE Nr.2 PARA PIANO
07. NOCTURNO
08. MINIATURA
09. VALS
10. DANZA CRIOLLA
*TROIS PRELUDES
11. FUGA9
12. LEIJIA'S GAME
13. FLORA'S GAME
14. SUNNY'S GAME
15. OBLIVION



2nd. solo album
Tango 2000

*PIAZZOLLA PIANO FANTASY
01. ADIOS NONINO
02. MILONGA DEL ANGEL
03. ALLEGRO TANGABILE
*PIEZAS BREVES PARA PIANO (A. Piazzolla)
04. PAISAJE
05. TITERES
06. PASTORAL
07. 07.TOCCATA
*DANZAS ARGENTINAS OP.2 (A.Ginastera)
08. DANZA DEL VIEJO BOYERO
09. DANZA DE LA MOZA DONOSA
10. DANZA DEL GAUCHO MATRERO
11. LA CUMPARSITA (G.H.Matos Rodrigues)
12. EL CHOCLO (A.Villoldo)
13. A MEDIA LUZ (E.Donato)



3rd solo album
Tarkus & Pictures at an Exibition

01.ERUPTION(M:Emerson / L:Lake / Translation by Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
02.POPUP FUGUE(Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
03.STONES OF YEARS(M:Emerson - Lake / L:Lake / Translation by Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
04.WHAT A WONDERFUL TRAIN(Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
05.ICONOCLAST(M:Emerson / L:Lake / Translation by Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
06.PREPOPLUDE(Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
07.MASS(M:Emerson - Lake / L:Lake / Translation by Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
08.THE RUNNNING PIANO TRAIN(Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
09.MANTICORE(M:Emerson - Lake / L:Lake / Translation by Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
10.ERUPTION PART II(M:Emerson / L:Lake / Translation by Pisati)(ZONE-TARKUS(ELP - M.Pisati))
11.PROMENADE(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
12.I. GNOMUS(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
13.PROMENADE(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
14.II. IL VECCHIO CASTELLO(THE OLD CASTLE)(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
15.PROMENADE(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
16.III. THE TUILERIES GARDENS(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
17.IV. BYDLO(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))
18.PROMENADE(PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION(MUSORGSKY))



4th solo album
Burgmuller - Complete Etudes

CD 1
25 Etudes faciles et progressives, conposées et doigtées expressément pour l'étendue des petites mains Op.100
18 Etudes de genre (faisant Suite aux Etudes faciles op. 100) Op.109

CD 2
12 Etudes brillantes et mélodiques Op.105
Ernani, fantaisie Op.92
Souvenir de Ratisbonne, valse brillante intercalée dans "Giselle" Op.67



5th solo album
Firebird-20th Century Piano Transcriptions -Stravinsky, Debussy, Schoenberg, Mahler

1 Mahler - Sugiyama - Super Adagietto Intermezzo XIII
2 Stravinsky - Agosti - L'Oiseau de feu - Danse infernal
3 Stravinsky - Agosti - L'Oiseau de feu - Berceuse
4 Stravinsky - Agosti - L'Oiseau de feu - Finale
5 Debussy - Borwick - Prelude a L'apres-midi d'un faune, L86 6 Schoenberg - Steuermann - Kammersymphonie No. 1 in E-Major Op. 9 - I
7 Schoenberg - Steuermann - Kammersymphonie No. 1 in E-Major Op. 9 - II
8 Schoenberg - Steuermann - Kammersymphonie No. 1 in E-Major Op. 9 - III
9 Schoenberg - Steuermann - Kammersymphonie No. 1 in E-Major Op. 9 - IV


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