Born in Tokyo, Kotaro Fukuma began learning piano at the age of five. He studied music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Bruno Rigutto and Marie-Françoise Bucquet, then at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Klaus Hellwig and at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy. He also has studied with several great masters of the piano, including Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Alicia de Larrocha, Maria Joao Pires, Leslie Howard and Aldo Ciccolini.
Kotaro Fukuma received many high awards in international competitions, including the Arthur Rubinstein, Tel Aviv; Paloma O’Shea, Santander; Maj Lind, Helsinki; BNDES, Rio De Janeiro; and Gina Bachauer, Salt Lake City. In 2003, at the age of 20, Kotaro won both First Prize and the Chopin Prize at the 15th Cleveland International Piano Competition. Since then his concert career has developed on five continents (North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia). He has performed in major concert venues, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, New York City; Wigmore Hall, London; Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Berlin; Gewandhaus, Leipzig; Salle Gaveau, Paris; Victoria Hall, Geneva; Auditorio Nacional, Madrid; Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing; and Suntory Hall and Opera City, Tokyo. His performances with orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic and NHK Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of such conductors as Yuri Simonov, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, François-Xavier Roth, Asher Fisch, Mihhail Gerts and Kazuki Yamada. Beginning of July 2016, with 24h-notice he stepped in for Nelson Freire to perform Brahms' Piano Concerto No.2 with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, conducted by Tugan Sokhiev.
Kotaro Fukuma has released thirteen commercial CDs by the following labels; Naxos, DENON, ARS produktion, Editions Hortus, Orpheus Classical, Accustika, Esprit du Piano, and has received critical acclaim in such music magazines as Gramophone, Diapason, American Music Records, Monde de la Musique, Classica, Bayern 4 Klassik and Classic Today.
photos © Marc Bouhiron, Takuji Shimmura