�� Kazuhito Yamashita
Born in Nagasaki in 1961, Kazuhito Yamashita has been acknowledged as the world's most virtuoso guitarist by critics and public alike, who are fascinated with his dazzling technique and expressive talent. His almost 70 recordings and numerous original arrangements of such works as Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition, Stravinsky's Firebird, Rimski-Korsakov's Scherezade and Dvorak's Symphony of the New World have become a legend within guitar circles.
In 1978 Yamashita made his debut in Japan and one year later he made his European debut in Paris, where he was acknowledged as the greatest revelation of the guitar. Still in his twenties, he made his first appearances in Canada (Toronto Guitar Festival), America and England. He gave a solo recital in the Musikverein (Grand hall) in Vienna. In 1987, James Galway invited Yamashita for a duo tour in the United States, including performances in New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh. As a result of this tremendously successful tour, he made a solo tour through Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington, Saint Louis, Toronto and Vancouver, where his recitals were always a sold-out. In 1989 the Casals Theatre in Tokyo, the most prestigious Japanese theatre, presented a series called The World of Kazuhito Yamashita, made up of seven concerts in 12 months. The peak of the series was Castelnuovo-Tedesco' 24 Caprichos de Goya in one performance. It concluded with Bach's six sonatas and partitas in two consecutive nights. He also had his recital series in 1994 and 1999.
In addition to his solo performances, he also plays in duo, as well as with chamber music ensembles, orchestras and internationally acclaimed artists, such as Leonard Slatkin of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta de la RTVE, James Galway (flute), Michala Petri (recorder), The Tokyo String Quartet and Gary Karr (double bass). In the 4th Santo Tirso International Guitar Festival, held in 1997, he played 4 concertos in one night with the Cordoba orchestra, conducted by Leo Brouwer. He has recently been invited by Claudio Scimone to play with I Solisti Veneti in Italy.
Kazuhito Yamashita has recorded for BMG (RCA), Crown Classics, Japan Victor, King Records and Alfa Records. His recordings include 16 CDs with the complete works of Fernando Sor (Japan Victor), and a collection of 5 CDs containing J. S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for violin, cello, lute and flute, which he himself transcribed for the guitar (Crown Classics). The recording of Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition, released in 1981, was awarded the prestigious Deutsches Grammophon Award. In 1990, he recorded his own transcription of Bach's six suitesfor violoncello.
He started to study the guitar at the age of eight with his father, Toru Yamashita. In 1972, aged eleven, he won the Kyushu Guitar Competition. Four years later, he was awarded the first prize in the All Japan Guitar Competition. In1977 he won three important international competitions - the Ramirez in Spain, the Alessandria in Italy and Paris Radio France Competition, being the youngest winner ever recorded.
Kazuhito Yamashita has also graduated in Engineering and Economy from Nagasaki University.