【5th Prize Winner : Rikono Takeda】The 4th Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

2023.11.30143 views

The '4th Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition,' held from July 29 to August 6, showcased remarkable talents. In this article, we trace the journey of one of the six finalists, Rikono Takeda, through performance videos and an exclusive interview.

18_Rikono TAKEDA

 

Program

1st Round
F. Chopin / Nocturne No.16 in E-flat major Op.55-2
C-V. Alkan / No.12 Le festin d'Ésope from ”12 Études dans les tons mineurs Op.39”

 

Semifinal Round
W.A. Mozart / 9 Variations on a Minuet by Duport in D major K.573
R. Schumann / Humoreske in B-flat major Op.20

 

Final Round
F. Chopin / Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.1 in E minor Op.11

 

Interview

After the Semifinal Performance

Please share your thoughts right after finishing the semifinal round.

I've just finished playing, and right now, my mind is in a state of complete disarray. There was a lot of tension, but with the warm tones of the Shigeru Kawai, I managed to somehow get through the performance.

How did you choose the repertoire for the first round, semifinals, and finals?

I simply chose songs that I wanted to play, songs I love. Currently, I'm not attending regular lessons, so it's not about receiving advice from a teacher. Instead, I gathered my favorite pieces and selected ones I wanted to challenge myself with.

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 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

After the Announcement of the Finalists

Congratulations on making it to the finals! Can you please share your thoughts right now?

I am just filled with pure joy.

 

After the Final Performance

Please share your current feelings.

Today, I had the opportunity to perform a piece that I absolutely love. Playing a piece I adore always brings a mix of emotions – it inspires new ideas and ideals, making me feel the need to strive harder. It was a stage where I found new aspirations and felt the urge to give it my all.

How was the "Concerto for Two Pianos," which is a distinctive feature of this competition?

There was a different kind of joy in playing with the orchestra. It was enlightening to see the fun and challenges, and it was a great learning experience. The teacher accompanying me is fantastic, so being able to hear the music up close was a valuable learning opportunity.

The venue changed from the first round to the semifinals. Did you feel any differences?

The salon setting is intimate, with a close proximity that adds tension, but it's enjoyable because you can feel the breath of the audience. Today, I had the chance to appreciate the unique acoustics of a spacious hall.

Lastly, can you share a message for the audience who attended this competition or watched the livestream?

I am truly filled with gratitude for those who listened to my performance and supported me. Having three performances in a week was mentally challenging, and there were many tough moments, but the words of encouragement like 'Do your best!' were a great source of motivation for me. Moving forward, I want to continue expressing gratitude through music, and I'll do my best. I would be grateful for your continued support.

06_43_Rikono_TAKEDA-final-04

 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

Before the Prize Winner’s Concert

A day after receiving the award, please share your thoughts.

Receiving the 5th place is truly a joyous feeling, but there are parts of my performance that I am not entirely satisfied with. So, there's a sense of frustration, but at the same time, I feel a renewed determination to strive for the next opportunity.

How was the Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition?

Usually, competitions are associated with a tense atmosphere. However, in this competition, the staff members were incredibly warm, always offering support and kind encouragement. Every stage, every performance, I felt a sense of reassurance and was able to approach them with ease.

Can you share your impressions of the SK-EX piano, your first encounter, memories of playing it for the first time, and its tone, etc.?

Shigeru Kawai's piano has a unique warmth in its sound, creating a sensation as if the music wraps around me while playing. Once you've played it, there's an unforgettable pleasure that lingers. During the competition, I became even more captivated by the enchanting qualities of Shigeru Kawai's piano.

Rikono-TAKEDA_a

 

About Rikono Takeda

Ms. Takeda was born in 1993 and hails from Ishikawa Prefecture. She graduated at the top of her class from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Poland. She also completed her master's program at the Graduate School of Music at Kyoto City University of Arts, earning the top position and receiving the Mayor's Award.

She achieved 3rd place in the 82nd Japan Music Competition and secured 1st place in the National Competition of the All Japan Student Music Competition in the elementary school division, 3rd place in the middle school division, and 1st place in the high school division. She received diplomas in the 17th and 18th Chopin International Piano Competition in Poland and claimed the 1st position in The 10th Youngsters Interpret Chopin Competition in Konin, Poland.

Ms. Takeda was awarded the gold prize and audience award in the 2nd Ishikawa International Piano Competition for University and General Divisions. She also secured the 1st place, the Governor's Award, and the Venue Judge's Special Award in the 28th Takarazuka Vega Music Competition. Additionally, she attained the 3rd place in The 3rd Coimbra World Piano Competition in Portugal.

She received the 25th Matsukata Hall Music Award and achieved success in various other competitions such as PTNA and the Chopin International Competition in Asia. She received encouragement and the IMA Music Award from the Ishikawa Music Culture Promotion Foundation and an excellent award at the 14th Music Academy in Miyazaki 2021.

Since her debut recital organized by the Ishikawa Prefecture Music Culture Promotion Foundation at the age of 12, Ms. Takeda has performed numerous recitals and participated in various concerts, including NHK-FM's "Recital Passio." She has studied under the guidance of Yasuko Shoji, Yuka Tosaki, Fumiko Eguchi, Choong-Mo Kang, Piotr Paleczny, Makoto Ueno, and Satoru Sunahara.

Official X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/rikono_takeda

Writer

Kawai Japan (Domestic division)

This article has been translated from a piece published on the Kawai Japan website.

This article has been translated from a piece published on the Kawai Japan website.

Kawai is a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1927,
renowned for its acclaimed acoustic and digital pianos.

Kawai is a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1927, renowned for its acclaimed acoustic and digital pianos.

For almost 100 years, Kawai has delivered thousands of pianos to musicians around the world.
Kawai instruments are highly regarded and cherished by many pianists,
and frequently selected in international competitions and concerts.
The company's vision is to "share the joy of music and create emotional connections."
This heartfelt desire stems from Kawai’s long history of crafting musical instruments
and promoting music appreciation.

For almost 100 years, Kawai has delivered thousands of pianos to musicians around the world. Kawai instruments are highly regarded and cherished by many pianists, and frequently selected in international competitions and concerts.
The company's vision is to "share the joy of music and create emotional connections." This heartfelt desire stems from Kawai’s long history of crafting musical instruments and promoting music appreciation.

Kawai company information