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Yamashita Kazuhito


Born in Nagasaki in 1961,Yamashita Kazuhito began studying the guitar at age 8 and under the continuing supervision of his father Toru and also the composer Kobune Kojiro. He won the Tokyo International Guitar Competition (1976) at the age of 15 years and consecutively won historic laurels as the youngest winner, at 16, in the world’s top competitions (1977), the Ramirez Guitar Concours (Spain), the Alessandria Guitar Competition (Italy), the Paris International Guitar Competition. He has released 83 titles, CD and LP. In 1980, Yamashita launched, to critical acclaim and worldwide sales, his landmark arrangement of ‘Pictures at an Exhibition.’ This was rapidly followed a several orchestral pieces arranged for the guitar and attracting considerable attention, such as ‘Firebird’ and ‘Scheherazade’ and, more recently, the New World Symphony (Symphony No.9 from the New World). In addition, he released an acclaimed collection of guitar pieces including 5 CDs of the J.S Bach sonatas and partitas for violin, cello, lute and flute (BWV 995-1013), transcribed for the guitar by himself, as well as essential works for the guitar such as 16 CDs of the complete Fernando Sor and works by H. Villa-Lobos: 5 Preludes and 12 Etudes as well as M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco's 24 Caprichos de Goya. His worldwide appearances include recitals at the Vienna Musikverein ‘Great Hall’ and New York’s Lincoln CenterHe has collaborated under such eminent conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and with numerous performers such as jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, James Galway (flute), Gary Karr (double bass) and the Tokyo String Quartet. From 2004, there were new directions with his children, in the ‘Yamashita Family Guitar Quartet/Quintet,’ and duos, performed worldwide, with his daughters Koyumi and Kanahi. Yamashita is an enthusiastic proponent of new works for the guitar and has given the world premier of over 60 new compositions from both Japan and overseas. In 1999, he received the National Arts Festival Grand Prize from the Japanese Government's Agency for Cultural Affairs for his CD recording of Japanese Guitar Music 1923-1948.

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