Taka Kigawa
"Phenomenon... There's no denying he's something special." - The New York Times
Acclaim
Taka Kigawa

Taka Kigawa has been highly acclaimed for his performances, especially in modern music repertoires for about last decade.

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SHINTARO KOBAYASHI, Mostly Classic (Japan)
Taka Kigawa at Le Poisson Rouge. On Monday he tackled all 18 of Ligeti’s elegant and playful piano études.

Taka Kigawa approached these elegant, playful pieces with his customary clarity and calm. Mr. Kigawa is always a poised guide through the most daunting music... His touch is cool, yet rounded and smooth, and, even at its steeliest, his tone is never rough or harsh.

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Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times

Confronted with the Ligeti Etudes, his playing was focused and transparent, never overwrought or unnecessarily dramatic, as appropriate for the nature of this music. Yet at times Kigawa would suddenly catch fire, crashing chords overwhelming...

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Giacomo Fiore, San Francisco Classical Voice

"Kigawa brings technical precision and intellectual lucidity to Ligeti’s projects: the pianist’s rigor illuminates the composer’s modernity."

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Jean Ballard Terepka, TheaterScene.Net

Kigawa is known for drawing crowds with his unique style, which combines influences ranging from baroque to the most experimental elements of contemporary classical music.

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Paul Adler, Westchester Magazine
Taka Kigawa at Le Poisson Rouge in a program that included the two books of Debussy’s “Images” and Tristan Murail’s “Territoires de l’Oubli.”

Mr. Kigawa plays with a fundamental gentleness, even in intense passages, but he brings a precision to the relentless pricks and bristling repetitions in these pieces that’s especially effective...

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Zachary Woolf, The New York Times
Taka Kigawa performs music of Debussy, Tristan Murail, and Marco Stroppa at (le) Poisson Rouge.

The phenomenon of Taka Kigawa supersedes his rare programing or his proficient technique or radiant musicality. Rather, no matter what his selections–whether an evening of John Cage or The Art of the Fugue or last night’s organic musical evolution–Mr. Kigawa is the most vital re-animator, giving life to every note of music which his fingers touch.

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Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com

Kigawa is a critically acclaimed concert pianist who doesn’t shy away from a complicated program. Last year he performed the complete solo piano works of Pierre Boulez on a world tour, and he once played The Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach without sheet music.

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Susan Miyagi Hamaker, JapanCulture・NYC
The pianist Taka Kigawa returns to Le Poisson Rouge.

Playing with suavity and nuance, Taka Kigawa took the stage at Le Poisson Rouge last August with a daunting program: all of Pierre Boulez’s works for piano solo.

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Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times
Taka Kigawa performing the complete solo piano works of Pierre Boulez at New Music Gathering, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, January 2015.

Mr. Kigawa’s sharp-edged, exquisitely transparent rendering of the Boulez canon (which won whistles and shouts) was offered on Friday.

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Allan Kozinn, The Wall Street Journal
Taka Kigawa, concentrado en las obras para piano de Boulez

Taka Kigawa's recital in April at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina was selected as one of the best classical concerts of the year 2014 by Argentine leading newspaper, La Nación. The program was the complete solo piano works of Pierre Boulez.

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Pablo Gianera, La Nación
Taka Kigawa performed the complete solo piano works of Pierre Boulez on Monday at Le Poisson Rouge.

Mr. Kigawa emphasized the consistency of Mr. Boulez’s style across time, giving the lie to some who have commented on a more sensual, less arduous feel in the later works. The recital answered strongly: His piano music has always been sensual, and it’s never been particularly arduous to listen to.

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Zachary Woolf, The New York Times
Taka Kigawa performed the complete piano works of Pierre Boulez Monday night at Le Poisson Rouge.

Played by memory, Kigawa showed off his athleticism, remarkable restraint, and delicacy in this lucid and lustrous interpretation.

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Amanda Angel, New York Classical Review
Taka Kigawa is to play all of Pierre Boulez's solo piano works.

Taka Kigawa, a gifted and daring pianist who specializes in 20th-century and contemporary music, takes on not just some Boulez, but all Boulez: the complete solo piano works

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Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times

Kigawa, who has already toured Elliott Carter’s complete piano oeuvre, has been getting rave reviews for his non-chronological approach to Boulez

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Richard Gehr, The Village Voice
Taka Kigawa, concentrado en las obras para piano de Boulez

Kigawa, cuya sensibilidad rítmica es de veras pasmosa, se mostró como un verdadero maestro. (Kigawa , whose rhythmic sensibility is truly astonishing, proved to be a true master.)

Taka Kigawa haya sido un experto en las negociaciones entre las restricciones y las libertades. (Taka Kigawa as an expert negotiator between freedom and restriction.)

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Pablo Gianera, La Nación, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
Taka Kigawa performs Pierre Boulez Complete Solo Piano Music at Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Su interpretación requiere, como dijo Boulez en una conversación con András Varga, “manos de hierro en guantes de terciopelo”, y exactamente así lo transmitió el formidable Taka Kigawa: con extrema precisión y tersura. (Its interpretation requires, as Boulez said in a conversation with Andras Varga, “hands of steel in velvet gloves,” and that’s exactly like the formidable Taka Kigawa performed it: with extreme precision and smoothness.)

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Federico Monjeau, Clarín, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA

After any concert by Taka Kigawa, one feels a sense of rare elation. Other young pianists may be equally brilliant, technically as adept. But Mr. Kigawa has an extraordinary affinity with music which is anything but ordinary. Whether he plays two hours of Bach or two hours of Cage, one never feels that he finds it urgent to perform, or that he is experimenting. Rather, there a molecular attraction between the music and the performer.

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Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com
Taka Kigawa on Monday at Le Poisson Rouge, where he played works by Elliott Carter, Sean Shepherd, and John Zorn.

The pianist Taka Kigawa, playing at Le Poisson Rouge, manifested wonder and joy in his performance of demanding works. A phenomenon, there's no denying that he's something special.

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Steve Smith, The New York Times

Mr Kigawa did a spectacular job of reminding us all that modern personalities and harmonies can be rendered in such a way that is both dramatic and meaningful. Carter’s music, while well suited to the slightly unfocused vibe of LPR, sounds just as grand – beautiful, even – in a formal recital hall. The people and the setting might change, but the extraordinary notes will always flow from one to the other in the invisible pattern of their seemingly random existence.

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Rebecca Lentjes, Bachtrack

Every program played by Mr. Kigawa is an adventure into the unknown–and part of the joy is not knowing more, is letting the mysteries unravel by themselves.

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Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com

All this (complete piano pieces by Elliott Carter) was fantastically well played by Taka Kigawa

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Pablo Bardin, Buenos Aires Herald, ARGENTINA
Taka Kigawa performs the complete solo piano pieces by Elliott Carter at Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires.

Taka Kigawa es un virtuoso descomunal. (Taka Kigawa is a stupendous virtuoso.)

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Pablo Gianera, La Nación, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA

Throughout, the pianist maintained a fluid, singing tone and a steady, determined tempo which allowed the musical ideas to present themselves naturally.

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Paul J. Pelkonen, Superconductor
Taka Kigawa performing in the lobby at 1 Liberty Plaza on Monday in this daily series sponsored by Arts Brookfield.

Mr. Kigawa’s Debussy is carefully shaded and texturally transparent. He knows how to make this music sparkle

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Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

How difficult to say that John Cage piano music should “sing.” But Mr. Kigawa, that extraordinary pianist who, like the Koh-I-Noor Diamond, shows up in rare places and radiates all that he touches, did make the music perhaps not very challenging.

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Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com

The youthful Japanese pianist offered a program of Debussy, Liszt and Chopin with a terrific mix of the elegant and the sublime.

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Fabio Cantante, Shelter Island Reporter

Kigawa demonstrated his ease moving between disparate styles, techniques, and eras. If (Le) Poisson Rouge was looking to make a statement, it succeeded, kicking off its fall classical schedule with a barnburner, one of the finest solo piano recitals I’ve ever witnessed.

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Jake Cohen, Consequence of Sound
Taka Kigawa performs "On a Clear Day" by Matthias Pintscher in August 2010.

Taka Kigawa's New York City recital in 2010 was chosen as one of the best concerts of the year by The New York Times

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Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
Taka Kigawa performing a program that included Webern, Matthias Pintscher, Xenakis, Jason Eckardt, and Boulez.

The most satisfying aspect of Taka Kigawa’s performance at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday evening was the sense of clarity and apparent ease he brought to a parade of harmonically thorny and, in some cases, texturally dense piano works.

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Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
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