Following his critically acclaimed debut in November 2015, internationally renowned cellist Ko Iwasaki returns to the Kiggins Theatre at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 18, for the Vancouver Symphony Chamber Music Series Season Finale. He will be joined by Dr. Michael C. Liu on piano and Igor Shakhman on clarinet. The program will include Beethoven’s Sonata No. 3, Op. 69 for cello and piano, Schumann’s Drei Fantasiestücke (Three Fantasie Pieces), Op. 73 for cello and piano, Brahms’ Trio, Op. 114 for clarinet, cello, and piano, and selections from Bruch’s Acht Stucke (Eight Pieces), Op. 83 for clarinet, cello, and piano.
First-Prize winner of the Japan National Music Competition in 1960, Iwasaki studied cello with Hideo Saito. After graduating from the Toho Gakuen High School, he continued his studies at the Juilliard School under Leonard Rose. In 1965, he made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series. Later, he studied with Harvey Shapiro and Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico. He has won top prizes in numerous international cello competitions such as the Vienna, Munich, Budapest, Cassado, and Tchaikovsky competitions. In 1971, he received the Arts Minister Award for Young Artists and the Arts Festival Record Prize for his performance of contemporary Japanese cello music. In 1972, he made his European debut with the London Symphony Orchestra with Andre Previn.
Since 1974, he has been based in the United States where he has performed both as a soloist and as a chamber music player, as well as in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Japan. In addition, he has participated in numerous festivals, including Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe, Lockenhaus, and Kuhumo. He is also a founder of the Tokyo Chamber Soloists and was a director of the Okinawa Moon Beach Music Camp & Festival in Japan. Since 1995, he has performed the entire cycle of Beethoven String Quartets as a member of the Japan String Quartet.
Tickets are $25 general admission or $10 for students. Tickets are available for this and all events at vancouversymphony.org or 360-735-7278. And if you especially love the VSO’s popular Chamber Series, the VSO is holding a one-day-only sale on tickets for the 2017-2018 season at the Kiggins on Sunday during the concert. The Kiggins Theatre is located at 1101 Main Street St. in downtown Vancouver.