Born in Tokyo, Kotaro Fukuma started learning piano at the age of 5 and has obtained many high awards in international competitions in such cities as Santander (Paloma O’Shea), Helsinki (Maj Lind), Tel Aviv (Arthur Rubinstein) and Salt Lake City (Gina Bachauer). 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 Lincoln Center (Alice Tully) in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Salle Olivier Messiaen in Paris, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Sala Mozart in Zaragoza, Suntory Hall and Opera City in Tokyo. In December 2011, he will give a solo recital at the Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) as the result of winning the Carnegie Debut Recital Audition organized by the New York Concert Artists & Associates.
His performances with orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Ile de France National Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Galicia and New Japan Philharmonic, under the direction of such conductors as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Asher Fisch, Hannu Lintu, Lawrence L. Smith, François-Xavier Roth and Jahja Ling.
His performances and recordings have been broadcast in the USA (WNYC, WCLV, WPR), in Germany (Deutschlandfunk), in France (France 2, France Musique), in Finland (YLE), in Japan (NHK, NHK-FM, TBS), in Spain (TVE, Radio Clasica), in South Africa (Classic FM), in Italy (Classica FM), in Brazil (SBT) and in Poland (TVP3).
Passionate about contemporary music, Kotaro has performed world and national premieres of works by Toru Takemitsu, Mutsuo Shishido, Renaud Gagneux, Thierry Escaich, Thierry Huillet, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Seongju Oh and Francesco Milita.
Kotaro has released five CDs to date: two by Naxos (Schumann, Takemitsu), two by Accustika (Liszt, Toppan Live Recital )and one by Harmony (Albéniz), and has received critical praise in such music magazines as Diapasons, American Music Records, Monde de la Musique, Bayern 4 Klassik and Classic Today.
He studied music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (2001-2005) with Bruno Rigutto and Marie-Françoise Bucquet, then at the Univeristät der Künste Berlin (2005-2010) with Klaus Hellwig and at the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy (2006-2009). 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 is currently based in Berlin.