'delicate piano writing, brilliantly executed by the pianist Kenji Fujimura' (Gramophone)
Dr Kenji Fujimura is an internationally-acclaimed pianist, chamber musician and researcher. He is well known for his championing of both new music and music which has been unduly neglected. This is reflected in his diverse and eclectic repertoire of both solo piano and chamber music. Recent CDs include: Trio Anima Mundi – Romantic Piano Trios (2013 Musicweb International Recording of the Year), English Piano Trios (2020 Musicweb Recording of the Month, January), Complete Violin Sonatas of George Frederick Pinto, and The Messiaen Nexus (2014 Limelight Chamber Music Recording of the Year) with violinist Elizabeth Sellars; William Hurlstone Complete Piano Music (Musicweb International Recording of the Month, May 2015; Fanfare USA Colin Clarke’s 2015 ‘Top 5 Want List’).Upcoming publications include recordings of the solo piano music by Theodore Dubois, Ernest Guiraud, Leo Livens and others, piano trios by Algernon Ashton (Toccata Classics), the complete 28 piano trios of Carl Gottlieb Reissiger (Toccata Classic), and chamber music by Arthur Benjamin. As an author Kenji will be contributing to the volume Debussy in Context for Cambridge University Press in 2023. Find out more about Kenji the pianist HERE
Kenji is also a multi-award-winning composer. Self-taught, he explored and researched an extensive range of compositional styles and idioms from traditional Western music notation to visual and graphic scores, aleatoric music to world music styles. His current musical language reflects upon history and tradition. His works have been performed throughout USA, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Recent prizes include the Singapore Asian Composers Festival award, William Lincer Foundation Award (New York), and the VirtualArtists International Composition Award (USA). His compositions were also shortlisted for the 2019 Reno Pops Orchestra Composition Prize (USA) and a finalist for the 3rd Cum Laude International Music Composition Prize (Spain). New commissions premiered in the 2022-2023 seasons included works for solo piano, bassoon/cello/piano, and piano trio, including a new work supported by the City of Melbourne. His music is distributed by Universal Edition (Vienna). Find out more about Kenji the composer HERE
A native of Japan now resident in Australia, Kenji's formative music studies were undertaken in both countries. Kenji completed his four-year Bachelor of Music degree with Honours in two years at The University of Melbourne, and subsequently pursued postgraduate studies in Melbourne and London, winning prizes and accolades as pianist, fortepianist, and chamber musician. His principal teachers were Ronald Farren-Price, Sumiko Hirose, Joane Simons, and Frank Wibaut.
A highly respected pedagogue and administrator, Kenji’s tertiary-teaching career began while he was still an undergraduate. He was on staff at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, for nearly two decades, serving various roles including Deputy/Acting Head of School, Coordinator of Classical Performance, Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies, and Associate Professor of Keyboard, before accepting the Deputy and Artistic Director position at the International Academy of Musical Arts (IAMUSICA) in December 2018. He was appointed Executive Director of IAMUSICA and the Sapiente Group in June 2020.
In addition to his role at IAMUSICA, Kenji is Founding Member of international award-winning chamber music ensemble Trio Anima Mundi, Patron of the Association of Eisteddfod Societies of Australia, an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board, and a teacher of piano and chamber music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (The University of Melbourne), as well as to a select group of private piano and composition students. He is also on various competition, funding, and awards panels, including for the City of Melbourne Arts Grants, the Sparta International Film Festival, and Chair of the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival Competition. In 2015 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, for his ‘significant contribution to the music profession’.
Teaching - Consulting - Adjudicating
Kenji is an experienced pedagogue with over twenty-five years of teaching at the tertiary level. In addition to his performance teaching, he has supervised many performance research dissertations at the Master's and Doctoral level, including candidates on piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, percussion, french horn etc. Based in Melbourne, Australia, he is regularly invited to be on the teaching staff of a number of institutions; these include the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (The University of Melbourne) and the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Kenji also maintains a very limited private piano and composition teaching studio for in-person and online lessons. He also offers a small number of online consultations globally, as well as tailored piano coaching intensives.
Kenji's students have had tremendous success in examinations (AMEB, ABRSM, Trinity), radio broadcasts, scholarship auditions, VCE/HSC/IB studies (including receiving perfect scores) and at many eisteddfods and competitions in Australia and abroad (USA, China etc.).
Kenji continues to have an active schedule as an adjudicator of instrumental, composition, and film competitions in Australia and abroad, and as a consultant and advisor. He is frequently invited to give many workshops and masterclasses every year.
Kenji's emphasis on imparting to students an all-rounded knowledge and education of music has helped many of his students embark upon long-lasting successful careers both as performers and pedagogues, themselves with important academic and school positions (such as Heads of Music) and/or producing prize-winning students.
NB - Admission into Kenji’s private piano and composition studio is via audition.
Chamber Music Collaborations
Kenji is an experienced chamber musician, frequently invited to perform with many artists. In addition to his plethora of collaborations, Kenji has also had long partnerships with a number of performers.
Kenji and Trio Anima Mundi - Kenji is a Founding Member of Trio Anima Mundi, the international award-winning piano trio famed for its Piano Trio Archaeology. Apart from their busy concert schedule, Trio Anima Mundi pursues major performance research projects; currently they are exploring The Reissiger Project, a world-first survey of the complete 28 piano trios of Carl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859).
Kenji and Elizabeth Sellars - violinist, Sutherland Trio, Quercus Trio, Flinders Quartet, Head of Strings, IAMUSICA - made a significant splash with their Mozart and More series in 2006, performing all of Mozart's works for piano and violin as well as premiering many works. Since that time their collaboration has produced two CDs: Messiaen Nexus (Limelight Magazine Chamber Music Recording of the Year 2014) and the Complete Works for piano and violin of George Frederick Pinto. They continue their partnership with an exploration of the music of Arthur and George Benjamin.
Kenji and Miranda Brockman - permanent cellist, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) (ret.) - have enjoyed a decades-long association, first as university students in the prize-winning Lyric Trio, then as Founding Members of Trio Anima Mundi. Since that time they have continued their chamber music relationship through duo recitals and MSO Chamber Music Series performances.
Kenji has pursued various research projects over the years. His multi-faceted experience has enabled him to explore traditional, performance, and composition-related projects. Due to his broad-based knowledge, ability, and experience, he has supervised many Master's and Doctoral candidates in a wide range of topics, including music editing, historical performance practice, performance pedagogy and technique etc.
Current research projects include:
English Piano Music - stemming from his doctoral research on William Hurlstone, Kenji continues his research, editing, and performance of 'forgotten' English music. World-premiere recordings of English Piano Sonatas currently in preparation. Recordings of music by Livens, German, Jacob, et al. also in preparation.
French music of the long 19th Century - forthcoming publications include first recordings of music by Dubois, Guiraud, Widor, et al. and a book chapter on Debussy for Cambridge University Press.
Music in Australia - research into recordings of earlier Australian piano and chamber music. Forthcoming projects include works by Arthur Benjamin, Miriam Hyde et al.
Music pedagogy (with a particular focus on piano pedagogy) - currently researching interactive piano pedagogy via online tuition.
World music - with a particular focus on the exploration of Japanese traditional music and developing ways to utilise aspects in contemporary composition;
The Reissiger Project - the research, editing, of 'forgotten' repertoire and stylistic/mechanical techniques with forthcoming publications including a survey of the complete 28 piano trios of Carl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859) with Trio Anima Mundi.
Past research has included: music and emotion; impact of music on alcohol-related cognitive effects etc.
Universal Edition - Kenji's sheet music
Sheet Music Plus - Kenji's sheet music
Download a 2-page CV of Kenji Fujimura here.