Return to the Frederick Collection Homepage

Historical Piano Concerts Series
About the Musicians

Manabu Takasawa

Praised for his "sensitive touch" by The Washington Post and for his "beautiful sound with an abundant sense of fantasy" by Musica Nova magazine (Japan) pianist Manabu Takasawa made a solo recital debut at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1992. In July 2003 he also gave a Tokyo debut recital to a sold-out audience.

Born in Niigata, Japan, Mr. Takasawa came to the United States to further his musical training. He studied with José Rambaldi at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, and with Constance Keene at Manhattan School of Music. While in New York, he was invited by the late Artur Balsam, a renowned pianist and chamber musician, to participate in the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Maine. He also tutored with Thomas Schumacher at the University of Maryland. He has performed in master classes given by Stewart Gordon, Menahem Pressler and Vladimir Feltsman. His doctoral dissertation focused on the American musician and educator, Abram Chasins. An article he authored on Chasins has recently been published in Clavier magazine.

Mr. Takasawa has taught at Howard Community College, Whitman College, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He is currently Associate Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Graduate Studies at the University of Rhode Island. He is the creator and director of the URI Piano Extravaganza!, an annual piano festival of concerts and a competition for the university community and surrounding areas. His interest in communicating with students through music has taken him to performances in elementary and secondary schools in the Rhode Island area, and in schools as far as Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. He also served as President of the Rhode Island Music Teachers Association from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Takasawa's concert activities and interviews have been broadcast on WSCL-FM89.5 and WBOC-Channel 16 in Maryland, internationally on Mercury Radio (Pozan, Poland) and on a News 5 evening news broadcast in Belize.

When he is not at the piano, Mr. Takasawa also enjoys gardening and swimming. He is humbled by the sophistication and sustainability of the plant and animal kingdoms and shows his appreciation for what Mother Nature provides by recycling and through energy conservation efforts. In 2008, he participated in the Save the Bay Swim, completing a 1.7-mile course across Narragansett Bay to raise money to protect that body of water.