Longtime Denver performer, Masakazu Ito, is a member of the powerhouse guitar faculty at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. CPR revisits his debut recording Intimate Guitar leading up to his solo recital this Sunday.
Ito's performances around the world have garnered praise from critics and audiences alike. He made his professional debut in Tokyo in 1987, having won top prices in seven major international guitar competitions, including the Andrés Segovia International Guitar Competition. Ito has been a guest soloist with symphony orchestras throughout Japan and the United States and has given world premieres of works by Daniel Pinkham, Daniel Kellogg and Ricardo Iznaola (Director of the DU Lamont School of Music Guitar Department). He's explored beyond classical music in performance as well as in a Grammy Award-winning recording with his friend and Japanese new age icon, Kitaro. Ito himself is also a composer, as showcased on Intimate Guitar, with works of melodic simplicity, perfectly suited to his instrument.
Masakazu Ito proudly represented his native Japan in a solo recital for Denver's Japanese Consul General for the 150th anniversary celebrations of US-Japan relations in 2003. He does so again in a solo benefit concert for Japanese earthquake victims Sunday, October 2nd at the Newman Center's Gates Hall. All proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross.