Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi

Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Cellist, teacher, b Tokyo 28 Jul 1942; Diploma (Toho Gakuen School of Music) 1961, Artist Diploma (Indiana) 1965.

Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi

Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Cellist, teacher, b Tokyo 28 Jul 1942; Diploma (Toho Gakuen School of Music) 1961, Artist Diploma (Indiana) 1965. Early studies with his father and with Hideo Saito led to Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi's debut at age 12 with the Tokyo Philharmonic and a youthful career as a soloist and recitalist in Asia and Europe. Tsutsumi continued his studies on a Fulbright grant in 1961 with Janos Starker at Indiana University and soon became Starker's assistant. He won first prizes at the 12th International Music Competition in Munich and the International Casals Competition in Budapest (1963) and many other important prizes and awards in subsequent years.


In 1960 Tsutsumi embarked on his first international tour, travelling to India, Russia, and Europe as a soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and in 1964 he made his concert debuts in New York, London, and Berlin. Tsutsumi has subsequently toured throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and the former USSR, and has performed chamber music at the Stratford Festival, the Guelph Spring Festival, and the CBC Summer Festival (Toronto). He has appeared as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and other leading Canadian and international orchestras, including the Chicago, Indianapolis and Vancouver symphony orchestras; the Warsaw, Munich, Rotterdam, and Czech philharmonic orchestras; and the Orquesta Sinfonica Venezuela. He played with the Hidy-Ozolins-Tsutsumi Trio 1973-80; Quartet Canada (of which he was a founding member) 1975-87; and Da Camera 1984-1992, alongside James Campbell, William Tritt, and Moshe Hammer. In 1999 Rian de Waal replaced Tritt (d 1992) as pianist and the ensemble resumed activities. Tsutsumi has received praise throughout his career for his performances and recordings of the Bach cello suites and the Beethoven sonatas.


Tsutsumi maintained interest in contemporary works for cello, and several composers wrote works for him. Lukas Foss chose Tsutsumi to give the premiere (1969) of his Cello Concerto with the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Tsutsumi also premiered Miyoshi's Cello Concerto with the Tokyo Yomiuri Orchestra (1974), Eckhardt-Gramatté's Konzertstück with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (1981), and Takemitsu's Orion and Pleiades with the Tokyo Philharmonic (1984).


Tsutsumi taught at the University of Western Ontario 1968-84 and at the University of Illinois 1984-8. In 1988 he joined the permanent faculty at Indiana University (Bloomington) as professor of cello. Tsutsumi was guest artist at the First World Cello Congress, University of Maryland, in 1988. He has conducted summer workshops and master classes in Japan, Australia, and the US, as well as in Canada at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, the Mount Royal University Conservatory, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the 7th Suzuki International Conference and Festival in Edmonton, and the Orford Arts Centre. He was a jury member at the CBC Talent Competition in Quebec City (1983), the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition (1985), the International Music Competition, Munich (1986), and the International Bach Competition, Leipzig (1988). Many of his former students, among them Christine Newland and Joel Cohen, have occupied positions in major Canadian and US orchestras and universities.

Awards and Appointments

Tsutsumi was the recipient of the Suntory Award and the National Academy of Arts Prize in Music in 1993 for his contributions to music in Japan. He assumed presidency of the Japan Cello Society in 1997 and of the Suntory Music Foundation in 2000, and became the music director of the Kirishima International Music Festival in 2001. Tsutsumi was appointed president of the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan, effective April 2004. In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious Medal of Honour (with purple ribbon) by the Government of Japan.

Selected Discography

The Adaskin Collection (vol. 2-4). 1995. AdLar Music MM101-105

Adaskin Sonata. Turini piano. 1986. 5-ACM 23

Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites, complete. 1968-9. 4-CBS (Sony) SONS-30082

- Unaccompanied Cello Suites No. 3 and 6. 1969. Col MS-90325

Bach Unaccompanied Suite for Cello No. 1 - Kodály Unaccompanied Sonata for Cello, Opus 8. 1968. CBS (Sony) SONC-16003

Bartók - Pauk Water From The Moon - Schumann. Da Camera Ensemble. 1986. RCI 637

Beethoven Piano Trio, Opus 97 "Archduke." Nakamura piano, Unno violin. 1979. CBS (Sony) 25AC-982

- Cello Sonatas and Variations. Turini piano. 1980. 3-CBS (Sony) 69AC-1159-61

- Cello Sonata No. 3 - Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1. Kobayashi piano. 1971. CBS (Sony) SONC-16024J

Behrens Dialogue. Behrens piano. 1982. Orion ORS-83455

Brahms Cello Sonata No. 2. 1963. Comensoli piano. Qualiton

- Cello Sonatas No. 1 and 2. Sawallisch piano. 1988. CBS (Sony) 32DC-5022 (CD)

- Concerto in A Minor for violin and cello. Unno violin, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Asahina conductor. 1988. CBS (Sony)

Brahms Concerto in A Minor for violin and cello - Dvořák Concerto in B Minor. Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Akiyama conductor, Unno violin. 1969. 2-CBS (Sony) SONW-20065-66J

Brahms Cello Sonata in D Major - Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor. Nakamura piano. 1975. CBS (Sony) 23AC-8

Consoli Tre Canzoni. Charlston soprano, Szlek-Consoli flute. 1976. CRI SD-359

Contant - Gratton - Lavallée - et al. Hammer violin, Tritt piano. 1988. CBC Musica Viva MVCD-1043

Dvořák Concerto in B minor, Opus 104. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosler conductor. 1982. CBS (Sony)

Haydn Cello Concertos in C and D. English Chamber Orchestra, Garcia conductor. 1987. CBS (Sony) 32DC-896 (CD)

Japanese Contemporary Works for Unaccompanied Cello: Mayuzumi - Irino - Shimoyama - Mamiya. 1969-71. CBS (Sony) SONC-16022J

Kodály - Takemitsu - Ishii - Mayuzumi. 1986. CBS (Sony) 32DC-570 (CD)

Mamiya Japanese Folk Songs; Uta - de Falla Suite populaire espagnole; Danse rituelle du feu. Mamiya piano. 1972. CBS (Sony) SOCN-12XJ

Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor - Beethoven Piano Trio in B-flat major. Nakamura piano, Unno violin. 1976. CBS (Sony) 25AC-186

Miyoshi Concerto. Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Wakasugi conductor. 1977. 2-CBS (Sony) 50AC-251-2

Reger Suite No. 2 - Hindemith Sonata, Opus 25, No. 3 - Ysaÿe Sonata, Opus. 28. 1971. CBS (Sony) SOCL-112-XJ

Saegusa Cello '88. CBS (Sony)

Saint-Saëns - Fauré - Cassado - Schubert - Ravel. Shinozaki, Kimura harp. 1984. CBS (Sony) 28AC-1746

Schubert - Beethoven - Cassado - Davidoff - Saint-Saëns. Penneys piano. 1970. CBS (Sony) SONC-16018-J

Steven For Madmen Only. McGill Symphony Orchestra, Mayer conductor. 1981. McGill University Records 81013

Takemitsu Orion and Pleiades. NHK Symphony Orchestra, Iwaki conductor. 1984. 2-CBS (Sony) 50AC-1994-5

Tchaikovsky Trio in A Minor. Nakamura piano, Unno violin. 1974. CBS (Sony) SOCM-59

Yashiro Concerto. NHK Symphony Orchestra, Iwaki conductor. 1964. Japan Col OS-10025-J

See also discographies for Marta Hidy, Quartet Canada.

Further Reading