Takahiro Sonoda, one of Japan’s leading pianists, died of a ruptured aorta at his home in Tokyo on Thursday. He was 76.
Sonoda’s musical education began at a young age with lessons from his father, a music teacher, before starting piano studies with Leo Shirota at age 6.
Sonoda graduated from Tokyo Music School, the precursor of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
In 1954, he performed under the baton of Herbert von Karajan with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. The following year, he debuted as a soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and went on to perform with a number of renowned conductors.
Some of the prestigious awards he received include the Japan Record Academy Award for his recording of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier Sonata” in 1996 and the Suntory Music Award in 1997.