Following her studies in two of the most famous institutions of advanced musical study, namely the Toho Gakuen school in Tokyo, and the French National Conservatoire (CNSM) in Paris, Yoko Kaneko is now recognised as an accomplished virtuoso both as a pianist and as a player of the fortepiano. She is considered as one of the most sensitive artists of her generation and has appeared throughout her career with the most distinguished musicians of international reputation in places as diverse as Luzern, Bilbao, Brussels, Brugge, Berlin, Warsaw, Taipei, Seoul or Tokyo.
Her determination to discover the quintessence of each work and thus obtain a truly valid interpretation, taking account of the specific style of each composer, has led her to study with several great masters of music. Her teachers have included Germaine Mounier, Michel Béroff and Yvonne Loriot-Messiaen for the piano, and Jean Mouillère, Menahem Pressler, Jean Hubeau and György Kurtag for chamber music. Her encounters with two of her predecessors, Masahiro Arita and Jos van Immerseel, both experts on authentic performance styles, have greatly influenced her musical development.
An enthusiastic performer of chamber music, especially the lesser known repertoire, she has achieved six records with the Gabriel Piano Quartet, which include works by Guillaume Lekeu, Reynaldo Hahn and Antonin Dvorak, as well as Camille Saint-Saëns and Joseph Jongen. Recordings of works by Gabriel Fauré and Ernest Chausson have been published by MA Recordings.
In 2004, Yoko Kaneko has taken delivery of a pianoforte built at her request by Christopher Clarke in Burgundy: this instrument is a copy of a pianoforte dated end of 18th century by Viennese pianoforte maker Anton Walter.
As a player of the fortepiano, Yoko Kaneko has recorded the Mozart two-piano concerto alongside master of ancient piano Jos van Immerseel, as well as works by Johann Benjamin Gross alongside baroque cellist Christophe Coin. She has also recorded the Beethoven sonatas for piano alone, as well as “Works of the Golden Age” by Mozart and Partitas, French Suite and Fantaisie and Fugue by Bach for MA Recordings.
Her recordings have achieved recognition from the most authoritative publications, and have received notably a “Choc” from the “Monde de la Musique” magazine, a “Grand Prix” from the “Nouvelle Académie du Disque”, a “Diapason d’Or”, the “Prix d’Arte”, the “Editor’s Choice” and a “Record of the Month” from the British magazine “The Gramophone”. She has also received a “Prelude Classical Award” in Holland, and a “Geijutsu-Records Prize” in Japan.
Both as a pianist and as a pianoforte player, Yoko Kaneko adapts to instruments by all piano makers and of all periods, modern or ancient – the latter being often known for being hard to play on. Yoko Kaneko’s playing then emphasises their sometimes unexpected sound qualities, thanks to her precise and crystal clear touch. Particularly adequate for pianoforte, this specific touch enables timbre development of this delicate instrument and fosters authenticity of work execution.
In recent years, she has attempted to unify the concerto performance style with the spirit of chamber music, in order to integrate the soloist as completely as possible within the orchestral ensemble.
This approach has enjoyed great public success in performances of concerti by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven with the “Anima Eterna” Orchestra of Bruges, the “Toulouse Chamber Orchestra” and the English “Haydn Orchestra”.
She recently performed Schubert’s integral works for violin and piano alongside famous violinist Régis Pasquier in Bilbao and Tokyo.
During her numerous participations to the English Haydn Festival, she played Beethoven’s 2nd concerto and “Triple Concerto”, Haydn’s three concertos and Mozart’s Concerto in A major KV 499.
Famous « Arpeggione » sonata by Schubert – performed on an authentic Arpeggione instrument by Christophe Coin – as well as Schubert trios and Beethoven’s « Archduke » alongside Jérôme Akoka (violin) and Christophe Coin (cello) were presented in Port Royal des Champs, close to Paris, and in Bonn, Germany, and a Japanese tour will take place in April 2017 with these partners.
A cycle of Beethoven’s 10 sonatas is programmed in Seoul in September 2017 together with famous violinist Akiko Suwanai.
Yoko Kaneko will give solo recitals on pianoforte in Japan in October 2017 and in April 2018, as well as in Paris in October 2017.