The Japanese (?) pianist, John Kamitsuka, began formal piano studies at the age of 5 and by 12 had performed in solo recitals and as a soloist with symphony orchestras. He continued his studies with teachers at the Toho School of Music in Tokyo and returned to the USA to accept a scholarship to Indiana University where he studied with Abbey Simon and Julius Herford. He later pursued doctoral studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook with Gilbert Kalish and Richard Goode. Currently, he works with Sophia Rosoff in New York.
John Kamitsuka has earned high esteem from critics and audiences alike. He performs regularly throughout the USA, South America, Europe and Japan. He has played at prominent New York City venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, St. John's Smith Square and St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London; the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany; Cercle de l'Union Interaliée and Chateau de l'Hermitage in France; Teatro Ghione, the American Academy in Rome, Università Cattolica, Collegio Borromeo and Sala del Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Italy.
John Kamitsuka has played annually on a series at New York’s Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall for the past several years and was scheduled to appear again in June 2008. His recent tour in Japan included recitals at Yamaha Hall in Tokyo, Piloti Hall in Osaka and the Cultural Hall in Kobe. Earlier, he made his debut in China with solo and concerto appearances in Beijing and Tianjin. Under a United States Government Cultural Ambassadorship, he toured seven cities in Brazil. Television Cultura in Brazil produced a special program featuring his Sao Paulo, Teatro Municipal recital which continues to be broadcast repeatedly.
John Kamitsuka's recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) was selected by Charlesbridge Publishing House to be included in Anna Harwell Celenza's book Bach's Goldberg Variations (2005). His orchestral solo appearances of J.S. Bach, L.v. Beethoven and Johannes Brahms concertos include performances with the New York Chamber Orchestra, the Bard Music Festival Ensemble, the Sao Paulo Symphony and the China Philharmonic.
“There was no sense of inauthenticity with Mr. Kamitsuka, though. Rather we felt in the presence of a great communicator.” - Fred Kirshnit, The New York Times ((June 22, 2007)
"Mr. Kamitsuka's Bach has qualities in common with Gould's.....But there are finer aspects to his Bach playing as well, most notably a laser-like focus that kept every strand of counterpoint clear, clean and independent. strikingly, he used no pedal at all, creating a variety of articulation and color - crisp staccato..." - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times