Pianist Toku Kawata has appeared as a solo, chamber, and concert performer throughout Japan, France, and the U.S. He recently performed the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto with the Boulder Symphony under the baton of Devin Patrick Huges. As the first-prize winner of the 2014 Shining Stars International Concerto Competition, he performed Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta. The performance was acclaimed for “a brisk and vivacious account, distinguished by its clearly articulated keyboard figurations.” He also won first prize in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and was a prize winner in the Jefferson City Concerto Competition, Beethoven Club Young Artist Competition, and University of Central Arkansas Solo Piano Competition. In 2010, he made solo debuts at Carnegie Hall, Harris Hall, Narashino Bunka Hall and other venues. He is a 2014 scholarship winner of the Mu Phi Epsilon Delta Rho Chapter. Toku has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School, studying piano with Ann Schein and chamber music with Sylvia Rosenberg. In 2014, he was the recipient of Aspen’s prestigious Louis & Harold Price Foundation Fellowship.
In the summer of 2015, Toku traveled to Paris, France after receiving the Eleanor B. Weiler and Mildred B. Fame Piano Scholarship and conducted research at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Toku received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Colorado Boulder with Dr. Andrew Cooperstock. In addition, he studied with Steven Mayer. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and University of Central Arkansas, studying with Neil Rutman and Steven Harlos. After graduating from UNT, Toku moved to Boston, and taught music in the Lynn Public Schools while studying with Steven Drury at the New England Conservatory. Toku has performed in master classes for John O’Conor, Claude Frank, Vladimir Viardo, Aiko Onishi, Frank Heneghan, Jeremy Denk, Jonathan Biss and others.
Toku has been on the Levine faculty since the fall of 2016, where he teaches private piano instruction.