Tomoki Sakata



“I heard from you a really great Ondine by Ravel with the most moving expression”
Ivan Moravec
“one of the best of the finest young pianists, capable of become one of the truly great pianists”
Paul Badura-Skoda
“he has a spellbinding virtuosity, feeling for the music he performs and a very sympathetic personality.”
“After listening Rachmaninov No.3 Concerto…, I am again impressed by his phenomenal talent.”
Tamás Vásáry
“Tomoki SAKATA is a true musician. What fascinated me, when I heard him play Liszt, was the perfect balance between his sense of orchestration, the authority and clarity of the speech, and the extraordinary quality of piano playing. These are the signs of a great interpreter!”
Michel Béroff
“Tomoki Sakata is a musicians' musician: a complete master of the keyboard with a dazzling technique matched by profound intelligence and sensitivity”
Leslie Howard

Japanese pianist Tomoki Sakata “demonstrated virtuosity, considerable color and expressivity” (Dallas Morning News) during the 2013 Cliburn Competition, earning him a place among the top six finalists. Since just 19 years old, he has been building a reputation for a “youthful overabundance of talent” that creates “its own visceral excitement” (Theater Jones).
In 2016, Mr. Sakata won the 1st Prize along with 6 special prizes at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Budapest by a unanimous vote.
He has made recital, chamber and concerto appearances throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S.A and Africa, in such major Concert halls as Leipzig Gewandhaus, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Dvořâk Hall in Prague, Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Tokyo, Salle Cortot in Paris, Philharmonie de Luxembourg in Luxembourg, RSI Auditorium Stelio Molo in Lugano, and Teatro Grande in Brescia, as soloist with Staatskapelle Halle, Fort Worth Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, Lublin Philharmonic, Czech National Symphony, Hungarian Radio Symphony, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Hungarian State Opera, l’Orchestre Phiharmonique de Maroc, Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic, and Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestras, working with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Alexander Lazarev, Vladimír Válek, Howard Griffiths, Stanislav Kochanovsky, Gergely Kesselyák, Balázs Kocsár, Randall Craig Fleisher and Hikotaro Yazaki, as a chamber musician, working with the members of Tokyo Quartet, and Brentano Quartet. His performances were broadcasted on the Radio and TV in Germany (MDR Kultur), Switzerland (Radio Suisse Romande and Radio Svizzera Italiana), Russia (KulturaTV), Czech Republic, Hungary, the U.S.A., Japan and many others.
He has appeared in numerous international music festivals, including Verbier Festival, International Music Festival “Janáčkův máj” (Czech Republic), Brussels Piano Festival, and the 12th International Festival “Musical Kremlin” (Russia) at the invitation of Nikolai Petrov.
Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1993, Mr. Sakata began piano lessons at the age of 5 and began improvising and composing at age 6. He has received private lessons by Paul Badura-Skoda since the age of 16. In 2011, he was admitted as a youngest student of The Lake Como International Piano Academy, where he has taken masterclasses with the music prominent including Dimitri Bashkirov and Tamás Vásáry.
He is currently studying with Arie Vardi at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover in Germany, having studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and its affliated music high school.

Selected Press Quotes in English

“…he impressed with his virtuosic skill, lyrical gift and demeanor at the piano.”
-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Sakata displayed remarkable technique, particularly when playing the many decorative grace notes and the powerfully thick, punctuating chords ever-present in Rachmaninoff’s very personal style. The tall young pianist projected an intense energy suited to the composition, and conductor Randal Craig Fleischer and the orchestra performed with poise and élan. The audience reacted with thunderous applause.”
-Cleveland Classical

“Tomoki Sakata collaborated in one of the most enjoyable chamber-music experiences thus far. Here was a Schumann Piano Quintet aptly scaled in every respect: tempo, dynamics and balances. In a nicely interactive performance, in which the musicians genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves, nothing was hurried, nothing forced. Schumann sounded like Schumann, and that’s a high compliment.”
-Dallas Morning News

“Tomoki Sakata, a formidably gifted 19-year-old, demonstrated virtuosity, considerable color and expressivity in the first book of Debussy’s Études.”
-Dallas Morning News

“He is a 19-year-old who plays beyond his years. He played impeccably, with a pristine touch and elegant phrasing.”
-Cincinnati Enquirer

“All of his considerable technical prowess was on display. His interpretation has a way to go before it is fully mature, but this youthful overabundance of talent lent its own visceral excitement to this performance. The audience went wild when it was over.”
-Theater Jones

“Sakata displayed an awesome technique, and he made some music in the process.”
-Theater Jones

“Sakata brought taste and clarity to the work. His phrasing was polished and he interacted sensitively with the orchestra.”

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Tomoki Sakata




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