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).
Mr. Sakata won the 4th prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2021, and the 1st Prize along with 6 special prizes at the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition 2016 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, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Rudolfinum, Müpa Budapest, Grand Hall of the Liszt Academy, BOZAR, Salle Cortot, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, Teatro Grande di Brescia, and Suntory Hall, as soloist with Staatskapelle Halle, Belgian National Orchestra, Czech National Symphony, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Hungarian Radio Symphony, Hungarian State Opera, Fort Worth Symphony, Orchestre Phiharmonique du Maroc, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, working with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Alexander Lazarev, Vladimír Válek, Howard Griffiths, Hugh Wolff, János Kovács, Andrea Battistoni, Tadaaki Otaka, Eiji Oue, and Kazushi Ono, as a chamber musician, working with the members of Tokyo Quartet, Brentano Quartet, to name a few. His performances have been broadcast on the Radio and TV in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, the U.S.A., and Japan.
Sakata has been invited in numerous international music festivals, including Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Kissinger Sommer (Germany), Beethovenfest Bonn (Germany), International Music Festival “Janáčkův máj” (Czech Republic), Brussels Piano Festival (Belgium), International Festival “Musical Kremlin” (Russia), and Spring Festival in Tokyo (Japan).
Also active as a composer and arranger, Mr. Sakata’s works have been performed at major concert halls in Japan by leading artists. His piano arrangements are published by Ongaku no Tomo Edition.
He made his debut as a conductor with the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting 2 Mozart Concertos from the keyboard and Japan Premiere of a symphonic work by Liszt, in February 2022.
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 studied composition under Masayuki Nagatomi and Hinoharu Matsumoto. He had been a private student of Paul Badura-Skoda for 10 years since the age of 16. Sakata was admitted as a youngest student of The Lake Como International Piano Academy, where he had taken masterclasses by Dimitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, and Tamás Vásáry.
He is currently studying with Arie Vardi at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.