Kazuo Fujii is one of Japan's leading classical clarinet players. His warm sound and musicality captivates concert audiences and CD-listers alike.
A Graduate of the Kunitachi College of Music, Mr. Fujii was awarded the second prize in the 41th Music Competition of Japan, which led him to study in New York with legendary Stanley Drucker for two years with full sponsorship from Yamaha Japan.
He has performed numerous concerts, including performing for the emperor and the royal family of Japan at the Imperial Palace, and appearing on popular TV / Radio shows.
Also, he has released many albums from ALM Records / Kojima Recordings Inc., including "The Romantic Clarinet" "Little pieces for Clarinet" and "The Brilliant Clarinet Ensemble" (Vol. 1 - 11). Above all, his world premiere recordings of "C. Rose: 32 Études" "C. Rose: 40 Études" and "E. Cavallini: 30 Caprices" - all with piano accompaniment, received critical acclaim for his idea and musicality for transforming these compositions almost solely known as audition repertoires into artistic form. In addition to recording these works, he has arranged and published the score of Rose's Études among other compositions for clarinet.
In 1997, Mr. Fujii was invited as the Japanese delegate to "The International Clarinet Fest" in Texas, and his recital received high praise. He also is a well known educator and instructor, teaching in seminars and masterclasses all over Japan for over 35 years.
The founder / chairman of the Tokyo Clarinet Ensemble and the Tokyo Sereno Clarinet Orchestra, and a former professor at Hyogo University of Teacher Education, Mr Fujii is performing nationwide not only as a clarinet player but also a conductor in recent years. Kazuo Fujii is a Yamaha sponsored artist.
1970 Graduated from the Kunitachi College of Music. Started working as a factory worker at "Nihon Kangakki - Nikkan",Nikkan was merged into Yamaha a month later. His job was solely to check all the low-end clarinets to see if every note comes out or not. It wasn't the most exciting job he has ever had, but nevertheless he was glad that he could somehow pay his dues because of this job.
1971 Met the love of his life - Sachiko, who was a piano student at the same college with him, working as an accompanist at the studio of his clarinet teacher.
1972 Entered in The 41st Music Competition of Japan (the most prestigious music competition in Japan) with his then-girlfriend Sachiko as his piano accompanist. Prior to the competition, he had decided to quit playing the clarinet if he didn't get any prize, but thankfully he won the second prize. A month later, he used the prize money and married Sachiko. And that is the beginning of their long, incredibly hard yet fun married life.
1973 The first daughter Yuko was born. The former president of Yamaha corporation found out about his success in the competition, and sponsored him to study with his hero Stanley Drucker in New York for 2 years.
1975 Came back to Japan.
1976 Performed his first solo recital. Since then he has performed numerous concerts, and appeared in many TV / radio shows.
1977 Held his first masterclass. He has coached in over 1000 masterclasses nationwide by now.
1978 Published his own edition of popular solo clarinet works. Many more followed over the years. Founded Tokyo Clarinet Ensemble.
1979 Second daughter Kaori was born.
1981 Made a CD debut with Tokyo Clarinet Ensemble. Released 2 LPs and 11 CDs with the ensemble.
1986 Assisted in developing the YAMAHA YCL-853 (SE) series clarinet. He then supervised the development of SE-V, SE-V Master series.
1987 Retired from the Yamaha corporation, started his own company. At the same time, he followed his dream and established a professional win orchestra, became the CEO of the orchestra...... It was a short lived dream however...
1989 Made his debut as a conductor, started conducting nationwide. Recored his first solo CD. Currently 6 solo albums has been released.
1992 Founded "Tokyo Sereno Clarinet Orchestra".
1995 Became an associate professor at the Hyogo University of Teacher Education. He later became a professor.
1998 26 years after he received the second prize at the Music Competition of Japan with Sachiko's accompaniment, Kaori won the first prize at the same competition with Yuko as her accompanist. This made the front page news in the Mainichi Shinbun (a national newspaper) with an interview.
2000 Collaorated with Rico Reeds in Los Angeles and developed a new reed series "Evolution". Founded "Kobe Sereno Clarinet Orchestra".
2001 Supervised the development of a new ligature for clarinet "H Series". H stands for Harrison - a rare ligature brand.
2004 Designed clarinet warmers with Yamaha.
205 Founded "Kyushu Sereno Clarinet Orchestra".
2006 With a great passion for bass clarinet and its possibility as a solo instrument, he started a series of CD productions for bass clarinets. 3 albums has been released so far.
2007 Started designing a new line of mouth piece with Yamaha. Shortly before the launch However, they were obliged to change the material.... The development still goes on to this day.
2009 Retired from the Hyogo University of Teacher Education. Started the development of Yamaha's high-end clarinet "SEV-Master" series.
2011 Consulted for the Music Craft Japan in designing new line of barrels for clarinet "D'Core".
2012 Became a specially appointed professor at the ESA Conservatory of Music.