“A compete musician possessing an exceptional technique and musical taste. He will be my successor.”

 – Pablo Casals
“Takeichiro Hirai is a most accomplished cellist. His playing is distinguished by classicism of style, sensitivity of phrasing, beauty of tone and impeccability of intonation”

   – The Strad (London)

“A prophet in his country and elsewhere, Takeichiro Hirai admirably reconstructs the styles of the masters of all horizons. Here is a cellist with whom one must reckon”

    – Le Figaro (Paris)

“An enormously gifted cellist”

    –  Herald Tribune (New York)

“His mastery of the movements [of Bach’s Solo Suite] was as equally intelligent as technically superior.”

  – Der Abend (Berlin)

“A strong, warm, vibrant tone . . . His phrasing was shapely and he allowed the music to flow on well.”

  – The Times (London)

“Perfect virtuosity and refined taste”

- Tass (Russia, St Petersburg)

“A revelation for the audience”

- Le Jour Verviers (Brussels)

<Pablo Casals conducts four concertos [Dvorak, Schumann, Boccherini, Lalo] for his disciple Takeichiro Hirai>

“Tokyo heard and enthusiastically acclaimed the wide range of Hirai’s grasp and every facet of his technical skill shown in full relief. The beauty and immaculate purity of his singing tone was a flow of bel-canto on the cello like the voice which is the singer’s instrument next to the heart, expressive of human feeling as expressed through music.”

-  Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo)

 Klaus Pringsheim (Mahler’s disciple)

“Incontestably in possession of a technique”

–   Aurora (Paris)

“His playing was remarkable for a rich and mellifluous tone and excellent intonation”

–   Herald Tribune (New York)

“Takeichiro Hirai presented a sincere and personal interpretation [Beethoven’s ‘Magic Flute’Variations] . . . broad and noble tone with fine bowing technique . . . Suite Populaire Espagnole by Falla was played so rhythmically and well coloured, stole the show.”

–   Information (Paris)

“A sonata by G.B. Sammartini was crystal like and clean . . . Schumann’s Fantasie-Stücke, Op. 73 drew forth wonderously beautiful tones from the cello.”

–   Oper und Konzert (Munich)

“The musical style is just as precise and distinct whether in the service of extreme speed or that of bel canto phrasing. His supreme technical command renders him capable of dominating all difficulties of execution”

–   Le Jour Verviers (Brussels)

“Takeichiro Hirai manifested every positive aptitude as a performer and interpreter. All expectations aroused by press announcements were satisfied. As an instrumentalist, the visiting artist showed agile and precise dexterity, a flexible and secure bow, perfect intonation, plentiful sounds, all complimented by his keen sense of coloration. His mastery of the instrument was clearly confirmed. As an interpreter, his seriousness and ductile versatility permit him to move with freedom throughout the different facets of the repertoire. The results were versions that had character, elegance and personal expressiveness: Boccherini emerged with grace, Bach with solidity: Schubert with romantic impulse; Granados with restraint and Weber with spirituality.”

–   La Nacion (Buenos Aires)

“Takeichiro Hirai belongs to those musicians who try the maximum to convey the composer’s message. He successfully avoids excessive academism.”

–   Tass (Lithuania, Vilnius)

“His sound is luminescent and warm”

–   Le Jour Verviers (Brussels)

<The Universal Expression of a Cellist>

“Takeichiro Hirai captivated those who were fortunate enough to hear the delivery of the beautiful message of his magic bow which drew forth overwhelming nuances in every voice and timbre of his enchanted cello. An unforgettable concert ”

–   La Estrella de Panama (Panama)

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