When Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi won the International Casals Competition in Budapest in 1963, the press called him a musician "whose discovery is comparable to that of David Oistrakh in the Brussels Competition in the 1930's." Born in Tokyo, Mr. Tsutsumi's early training with Hideo Saito led him to his debut at the age of 12. Appearances with Japan's leading orchestras followed, as did several major prizes, and at 18 he made his first international tour as soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Following his Tokyo recital debut, a special Fulbright Foundation grant brought him to the United States to study with Janos Starker at Indiana University.
Audiences have since heard Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi perform regularly with the Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Philharmonia, Berlin Radio Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, St. Petersburg State Philharmonic, Chicago, Indianapolis, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He has also toured the USSR and has appeared with Seiji Ozawa and the Toho Gakuen Orchestra at the United Nations, a concert that was telecast worldwide.
Mr. Tsutsumi is frequently invited to the most prestigious festivals all over the world: Ravinia, Lucerne, Kuhmo, Algoma Fall, Stratford, Orford, Banff, Guelph Spring, Kirishima International Music Festival and the Naantali Music Festival in Helsinki (summer 2006). He is also a regular visitor to the Summer Academy of the University of Mozarteum in Salzburg, the RNCM Manchester International Cello Festival in Manchester, England, the Gregor Piatigorsky Seminars for Cellists in Los Angeles, the Cello Festival in Kronberg, Germany. Mr. Tsutsumi is often called to serve on the juries of the Rostropovitch and Pablo Casals International Cello Competitions, the Osaka International Music Competition, the All Japan Viva Hall Competition, the International Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki and the Lutoslawski International Cello competition.
His interest in contemporary music has led him to premiere many pieces, including the Miyoshi Cello Concerto with the Tokyo Yomiuri Orchestra and Takemitsu's Orion and Pleiades with the Tokyo Philharmonic. In October 1990 he performed the latter with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the composer's 60th birthday. Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi has toured North America and Japan as a founding member of Quartet Canada, which has commissioned and premiered piano quartets by Peter Paul Koprowski and Anne Lauber.
As well as many recordings of chamber music, Mr. Tsutsumi's discography includes the Haydn C and D Major Concerti with the English Chamber Orchestra, the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and many chamber music recordings.
A permanent faculty member of Indiana University as Professor of Music since Autumn 1988, Mr. Tsutsumi has been a visiting Professor at the University of Western Ontario, served as Guest Professor at Toho, and has taught at the University of Illinois. He is a recipient of the prestigious Suntory Award for his contributions to music in Japan and was presented National Academy of Arts Prize in Music by the Emperor. Mr. Tsutsumi is currently President of the Japan Cello Society and President of the Suntory Music Foundation. In April 2004, he assumed the position of President at the Toho Gakuen School of music in Tokyo.