“A most brilliant and sensitive musical talent” 

The Guardian

PROFILE (Excerpts)

Acclaimed worldwide for his imagination and sensitivity, Motoki Hirai has appeared in over 70 countries around the world, performing regularly in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall (London), Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna) and Carnegie Hall (New York).

Highlights of the current season and beyond include solo recitals in Cadogan Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St John’s, Smith Square (London), La Folle Journée, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Hamarikyu Asahi Hall (Tokyo) and concerto performances with orchestras including Czech Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as well as extensive concert tours across the globe.

Since 1991, Motoki has collaborated with renowned artists including Vilnius String Quartet, Michael Cox, Kalman Berkes, Barry Craft, John Pearce, Doudou N’Diaye Rose and his father, the celebrated cellist Takeichiro Hirai, whom Pablo Casals designated as his natural successor.

As a composer, Motoki’s works have been performed and premièred in venues such as Carnegie Hall (NY); Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, Cadogan Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Unicorn Theatre, Chelsea Flower Show (London); Brookes Festival (Oxford); St. George’s (Bristol); Eden Project (Cornwall); Smetana Hall (Prague); Cultural Summer Festival (Bratislava); Maison de la culture du Japon (Paris); Expo Milano 2015 (Milan); Auditori Pau Casals (Barcelona); Cameri Theatre (Tel Aviv); Al-Kasaba Theatre (Palestine); Théâtre National Daniel Sorano (Dakar); Musaion Concert Hall (South Africa); as well as La Folle Journée 2019, Tokyo Opera City, and NHK Hall (Japan). His music has also been used in films including ‘The Emperor’s Tram Girls’ (2005).

Born in Tokyo into a highly gifted musical family, Motoki came to London in 1996 to study at the Royal Academy of Music, after reading philosophy at Keio University in Japan. Over the years, Motoki Hirai has performed for the promotion of world peace and for people in need worldwide in association with organizations such as Japan Society, Red Cross, Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Tohoku Earthquake Fukushima Orphans Fund, UNESCO and UNICEF. Since the tsunami devastated Japan in 2011, Motoki has organized over 50 charity concerts across UK, Europe, US as well as the most affected areas in Japan. As an artistic emissary of the Japanese government, Motoki has visited numerous countries since 1994.

Motoki has broadcast internationally on radio and television (Classic FM, BBC, ITV and NHK) and has made a number of recordings on CD.

www.motoki-hirai.com

 

PROFILE

Acclaimed worldwide for his imagination and sensitivity, Motoki Hirai has appeared in the music capitals of the Far East, America and Europe, performing regularly in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall (London), Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna) and Carnegie Hall (New York). Motoki has given performances in over 70 countries.

Highlights of the current season and beyond include solo recitals in Cadogan Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields (London), La Folle Journée, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Hamarikyu Asahi Hall, Oji Hall (Tokyo) and concerto performances with orchestras including Czech Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as well as extensive concert tours across the glove.

Whilst being a leading interpreter of the standard repertoire for piano solo, Motoki is equally at home with chamber music and lieder, shedding an inspiring and personal light on music from all periods. Since 1991, Motoki has collaborated with internationally renowned artists including Vilnius String Quartet, Michael Cox, Kalman Berkes, Barry Craft, John Pearce, Doudou N’Diaye Rose and his father, the celebrated cellist Takeichiro Hirai, whom Pablo Casals designated as his natural successor.

As a composer, Motoki has been commissioned to write new works for artists in various fields which were performed and premièred in venues such as Carnegie Hall (NY); National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, D.C.); Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Duke’s Hall, Chelsea Festival, Dulwich Festival, Unicorn Theatre, Chelsea Flower Show (London); Brookes Festival, Pegasus Theatre (Oxford); St. George’s (Bristol); Eden Project (Cornwall); Lincoln Cathedral (Lincolnshire); Canongate Kirk (Edinburgh); Smetana Hall (Prague); Cultural Summer Festival (Bratislava); Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris (Paris); Expo Milano 2015 (Milan); Auditori Pau Casals (Barcelona); Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Auditorium in Haifa Museum of Art (Israel); Al-Kasaba Theatre (Palestine); Théâtre National Daniel Sorano (Dakar); Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium (Cape Town), Musaion Concert Hall (Pretoria); as well as La Folle Journée 2020, Ginza Oji Hall, Tokyo Opera City, and NHK Hall (Japan).

In 1994, he was the guest artist at the Piano Convention in Nagano, Japan, where he gave a solo recital with a programme exclusively of his own works. As part of 2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges, Motoki gave a highly successful recital on Europe Day at St. John’s Smith Square in London, where he included the world première of his own composition ‘Scenes from a Native Land’, which was repeated in Tokyo the following year, supported by European Union (EU).

To commemorate the centenary of Grieg's death in 2007, Motoki premièred his own piano work ‘Hommage à Grieg’ in venues such as Wigmore Hall (London) and Tsuda Hall (Tokyo), in performances which were critically acclaimed by the press internationally including the Norwegian leading newspaper Aftenposten. In celebration of Chopin’s bicentennial in 2010, Motoki Hirai published his piano composition ‘Hommage à Chopin’ (both solo and duet versions). His music has also been used in films such as ‘Voice’ (2004) and ‘The Emperor’s Tram Girls’ (2005).

Born in Tokyo in 1973 into a highly gifted musical family, Motoki studied piano and composition with his grandfather, the eminent composer Kozaburo Yasuki Hirai (who studied with Mahler’s noted disciple and conductor Klaus Pringsheim), and violin with his grandmother. Since his first professional appearance at the age of 13 playing his own piano works to great critical acclaim, he has been highly active in both performance and composition. After reading philosophy and aesthetics at Keio University in Tokyo, Motoki came to London in 1996 to study at the Royal Academy of Music, and later at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and City University. His teachers have included Frank Wibaut, Dominique Merlet, James Gibb, Patsy Toh and Joseph Seiger.

Over the years, Motoki Hirai has performed for the promotion of world peace and for children and people in need worldwide in association with organizations such as the British Red Cross, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Society, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Tohoku Earthquake Fukushima Orphans Fund, UNESCO and UNICEF. In 2010 Motoki was invited to Lithuania to give a charity concert, commemorating Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara who saved the lives of over 6,000 Polish Jews during World War II.

Since the Earthquake and Tsunami devastated Tohoku, Japan on 11 March 2011 (which, by a sad coincidence, was his birthday), Motoki has been giving a series of charity concerts and recitals for fundraising, supported by Steinway & Sons amongst others, across the UK, Europe, US as well as the most affected areas in Tohoku, Japan. So far, he has organized and participated in over 50 charity performances. In October 2011, he premièred his new composition ‘Grace and Hope’ for solo piano, dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Tsunami in his Wigmore Hall recital. The following month he gave a Japan première of the piece in Miyagi prefecture, close to the epicenter. Since then, he has visited Tohoku several times to give concerts for children at primary and secondary schools.

As an artistic emissary of the Japanese government, Motoki has visited France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, UK, Romania, Oman, Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Malaysia amongst others since 1994. He has also been involved in educational/cultural exchange programmes to promote Japanese art and culture across the world, such as the ‘The Fascinating World of Folklore and Stories – brought to Life through Reading and Music’ project (2007- ) as artistic director, producer and composer. Besides performing, composing, directing, teaching as well as giving master classes, workshops and lectures around the world, Motoki is a keen photographer and writer for magazines such as Forbes, Hannah (Opera Magazine) and Euro News.

Motoki has broadcast internationally on radio and television (Classic FM, BBC, ITV and NHK) and has made a number of recordings on CD.

www.motoki-hirai.com


© 2021 Motoki Hirai - All rights reserved