Shuya Tanaka – Cello

Born in Fukuoka Japan, Shuya Tanaka began playing piano at the age of 5 with Mayumi Sadakuni in Sadakuni-Academy. 3 years later He started playing cello with Katsumi Sadakuni. From the 1st year he was selected as young talent to perform at Hibiki hall in Kita-Kyuushuu. At the age of 11 he became a finalist of the National Japan Classic Competition. In his home city, Munakata, Shuya hosted his first cello solo recital at 13 years old. The same year he performed J.S. Bach’s 6th Cello Suite during the opening of the movie release ‘Departure’. Shuya remained Katsumi’s student until the age of 14 after which Katsumi propsed further study in Europe.

In 2009 He came in contact with Western music culture through a masterclass with the Flemish cellist Jan Sciffer. Several masterclasses participated in Japan and in France. As a result, he moved to Belgium a year later to continue his cello studies with Jan Sciffer at Lemmensinstituut in Leuven, Belgium. During his study in 2012 he won 1st prize for cello solo at the Belfius Classics Competition. In 2013 He performed Saint-Saëns’ first cello concerto with the ‘Mechelse Kamer Orkest’ in ‘La Monnaie’ in Brussel. In 2013 he became cello soloist in the ensemble ‘Mindspeler’ and performed several concerts in Belgium and in France. Since 2013 he regularly performs as a cellist in the ‘Arte Amanti International Chamber Music Festival Flanders’. Besides solo cello works Shuya also performs chamber music pieces during this

During his study he performed the modern work ‘Miserere’ for cello solo by Belgian composer Rudi Tas. This performance brought them to future collaboration and to the creation of a new cello sonata, which was the first dedicated cello piece to Shuya Tanaka. Since 2012 regularly performs concerts in several provinces of Belgium. His programme mainly consists of works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Brahms, Beethoven and personal composition written by Shuya for his duo with pianist Stijn Claeys. In 2014 he graduated from Lemmensinstituut with summa cum laude for his cello study.

Higher music studies were continued at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp with Justus Grimm. There he received a scholarship from the Antwerp Conservatory Foundation in 2016 for his eminent artistic achievements. Shuya has already attended several masterclasses with Daniel Müller-Schott, José Enrique Bouché, Gustav Rivinius and Jean-Guihen Queyras, and among others. During conservatory studies he performed Dvorak Cello Concerto and Beethoven Triple Concerto with orchestras. In 2015 he performed Haydn Cello Concerto No.2 with ‘Oost-Vlaams Kamerorkest’. One year later, in 2016, he performed during the visit of Belgium’s Queen Mathilde at the Conservatory. In 2018 Shuya won 3rd prize in the
International Music Competition ‘Triomph de l’Art’ and in the same year he performed in Konzerthaus in Dortmund, Germany with Werther Pianokwartet. In 2019 the Japanese TV channel, NHK, asked him to take part in a document as a cellist of Antwerp.

After graduating Shuya remains active as a performer, composer and teacher. Since 2019 he is Cello Principal of ‘Frascati Symphonic’ where he also plays as soloist many cello concertos such as Haydn Cello Concerto No.2 in the ‘Koningin Elizabethzaal’ in Antwerp. Since 2020 he has played several concerts in European Citizens Garden Concert. He has written many compositions for solo and chamber music including: Cello Solo Suite No.1, Mashriq Dance, Ritual of Piece, Cello no Furusato, Tempesta di Impulso, 4 Poèmes and more. His works are regularly programmed in his concerts. Besides his solo career he also plays in several ensembles including L’altra folia and i Solisti among others. In 2022 he became artistic director and cello soloist of Antwerp String Ensemble which was created together with composer and conductor Lucas Van Vlierberghe. In this collaboration Van Vlierberghe has written and dedicated new cello compositions to Shuya like ‘Unistada for cello and strings’ and ‘Suite No.1 for cello solo’