Joseph Tong and Waka Hasegawa are widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading piano duos, they were prize winners at the Tokyo International Piano Duo Competition in 2003 and at the Schubert International Competition held in the Czech Republic. The Duo has given recitals in Japan, Germany, Spain and the USA as well as broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. Since their critically acclaimed London debut for the Park Lane Group in 2002, Piano 4 Hands has performed regularly at Wigmore Hall including several Recitals under the auspices of the Kirckman Concert Society. Joseph and Waka have performed at many of the major concert venues around the UK and at festivals including Buxton, Cheltenham, Bury St Edmunds, Oundle and Presteigne. The Duo’s debut CD of Debussy piano duets for the Quartz Label was chosen as Album of the Week in The Independent, followed by recordings of Schubert and McCabe which have drawn similar critical praise.
Piano 4 Hands has commissioned new works from composers including Dai Fujikura, Rob Keeley, Nicola LeFanu, David Matthews, Edwin Roxburgh and the late John McCabe, whose piano duet Upon entering a painting (2009) they premiéred at Wigmore Hall. In July 2018 Joseph and Waka gave a recital at the newly reopened Purcell Room in London promoted by the Park Lane Group, marking the Debussy Centenary with a performance of La mer alongside the London Premiéres of Daniel Kidane’s Jungle and David Matthews’ Variations on a theme by Haydn Op. 144. These two new works were co-commissioned with the Cheltenham Music Festival, Piano 4 Hands giving their premiéres at the Pillar Room, Cheltenham Town Hall in July 2017.
Last Autumn, Joseph and Waka gave the first performance of Airs of the Seasons by Ailsa Dixon at St George’s, Bristol. Other recent recitals have included the Schubert Society of Britain and Luton Music Club, as well as the National Gallery in London. Joseph Tong and Waka Hasegawa were elected Associates of the Royal Academy of Music in 2008. Future projects include a new commission from the British composer Edwin Roxburgh and a series of concerts with the Bath Camerata, performing the Brahms German Requiem with their conductor Benjamin Goodson in Malmesbury Abbey and other venues including the Sherborne Abbey Festival and Bath Festival in Spring 2020. Joseph and Waka will also be leading a course devoted to piano duets and two piano repertoire at Benslow Music in Hertfordshire this summer.
Thanks to Joseph and Waka for these biographies.
Schubert : Allegro in A minor, D947 “Lebennsturme”
Robert Schumann : “Pictures from the East” Opus 66 1848
Mendelssohn : Andante with Variations in B flat, Opus 83a
Schubert: Rondo in A major, D951
Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: Three Pieces for Four Hands
Clara Schumann: March in E flat
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Schumann, Opus 23 1861 11 Variations.
All concerts are held at Boston Grammar School PE21 9QF and they begin at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £12 and may be purchased at the door or ordered in advance from Mrs V Robinson 01205 366018, children and students may attend the concerts free of charge.