Oboe Ken-ichi Furube


Born in Osaka, Japan, Ken-ichi Furube began to study the oboe at the age of fifteen. In 1991, just twenty-two years old and still a student at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, Mr. Furube was appointed Principal Oboe with the New Japan Philharmonic, one of Japan´s leading orchestras. From 1995 to 1996, sponsored by the Affinis Arts Foundation, Mr. Furube was granted a leave-of-absence from the orchestra to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich.
In addition to his duties as Principal Oboe of the New Japan Philharmonic, Mr. Furube is also active as a member of Euros Ensemble, Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka, and Japan Chamber Orchestra. Among his solo engagements, notable performances have included the concertos with New Japan Philharmonic, Japan Chamber Orchestra, I Solisti Italiani, Ensemble Archi de Milano, and Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and NHK Chamber.
Ken-ichi Furube combines his orchestral work with many chamber music performances and has earned much praise and respect from his partners, who have included Mstislav Rostropovich, Friedrich Gulda, Sylvia McNair, Tabea Zimmermann, the late Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Szymon Goldberg, Leon Fleisher, and Takashi Asahina. With German harpsichordist, Christine Schornsheim, he gave a duo recital tour in Japan and performed in Bach-Museum in Leipzig. Mr. Furube also commands the trust of the world´s most esteemed conductors and since performing as a chamber musician in the 2000 Miyazaki Festival (founded by Isaac Stern) he has been a member of the prestigious Miyazaki Festival Orchestra since its establishmen. At the invitation of Seiji Ozawa, he plays regularly in the Saito Kinen Orchestra.
A superlative technique and profound musicality allow Mr. Furube to explore and perform a wide and varied repertoire, ranging from baroque to contemporary. He dedicates himself to contemporary music and gave the Japan premier of Messiaen´s Concert a Quatre and Schnittke´s Concerto for Oboe and Harp. In 2006, he performed Toru Takemitsu´s Gemeaux under the batton of Hiroshi Wakasugi and Ken Takaseki with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall as the memorial concert for Takemitsu´s 10th anniversary of his death, which was highly acclaimed. Mr. Furube also participated in La Folle Journee au Japon 2006 (Tokyo).
In recent years, Mr. Furube has developed his activities beyond the classical music genre, collaborating with Shionoya Satoru (piano), Kazumi Watanabe (guitar), and Daisuke Suzuki (guitar).
Ken-ichi Furube has released various CDs: his 1999 solo debut recording Dolce featuring works by Saint-Saëns, Hindemith and Schumann was followed a year later by the Marcello and Albinoni Oboe Concerti, performed with I Solisti Italiani. His most recent release, Daydream, in collaboration with guitarist Daisuke Suzuki, won much critical praise.
Mr. Furube has been engaged as Part-time Lecturer at Tokyo College of Music and Showa University of Music. He also serves as the jury of the 8th International Oboe Competition of Karuizawa.
In 2000, Mr. Furube became the first oboist ever to have been awarded the 10th Idemitsu Music Prize.