Today, we having chosen the duo who won Gold in the last Dranoff 2 Piano Competition Loretta Dranoff attended. Shortly afterward, she left Miami to spend the remaining years of her life in New York.
In 2005, Kuni Seo and Shinichiro Kato – Duo Seo & Kato – competed in the finals with two other duos, one hailing from Israel, the other from Italy. These three finalists were representative of the range of nationalities, styles and performance approaches that Loretta sought to bring to the world of music by introducing top young pianists through the Dranoff competition.
Kuni Seo and Shinichiro Kato appear very quiet, reserved, almost shy, yet their performances are powerful, imbued with fierce intelligence. It is exciting to observe their uncanny ability to inhabit the different voices and characteristics of composers spanning centuries and nationalities, from Mozart to Arvo Part to Japanese composers and the jazzy works of contemporary composers of the Americas.
Today, they live in Tokyo, teaching at the highest level music colleges in Japan (including many piano duos) and pursuing an active performance career. In between, they raise their three sons.
They have sent to us their performance from 2014 of Igor Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. I have added a performance of Bernd Zimmermann’s “Perspektiven” from their concert in Miami in 2010.
As this strange season moves forward, we are committed to continue to present to you top international artists, their journeys of discovery, their diversity of talents. And to continue to share the joy and satisfaction of musical collaborations.
Stay with us on our journey.
The Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation