AKASAKA, Tatsuzo

 Tatsuzo Akasaka is the one and only solo clarinetist of Japan,who gives recitals and performs duo concerts with major orchestras and quartets.

 After studying the Kunitachi College of Music,Akasaka went to France,where he completed courses of study at the International Conservatory of Music of Paris,the Versailles Conservatory of Music, and the Paul Dukas Conservatory,which he graduated at the head of his class.

  In 1987 be received first prize at the Concours International du Musique de Paris, and in 1991 he took third prize at the Concours International du Festival de Musique de Toulin, first prize at the Japan Woodwind Concours and the top prize that year (second prize) at the Japan Clarinet Concours. He has also received the Asahi Shimbun Prize and the Japan Friend of Music Prize.

  Pamela Weston of the London-based International Clarinet Association has called Akasaka "the most extraordinary talent we have seen in 50 years." He has gained recognition for top-class tecnique and musicianship as an orthodox clarinetist and for a repertorie that extends across a broad genre spectrum, inclding folk music and pops. His fans similarly represent many different musical tastes.

 The theme of the spring,1999 NHK serial drama "Suzuran" was a duet by Akasaka and Minako Yoshida that left an indelible impression on the Japanese public consciousness. Akasaka continues to make numerous TV and radio appearances, combining star status with genuine musical artistry. His 1998 CD from Sony Classical,"The Scent of Great Britain," is a tapestry of basically classical works, but including popular Simon and Garfunkel and Lennon-McCartney tunes. His 1999 CD,"Porte de Paris" is a musical portrait of the city representing his own musical roots.