Rakuto Kurano is a versatile violinist, violist, pianist, composer, and conductor. He is a violinist in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and makes regular appearances on violin, viola, & piano as a chamber/orchestral musician and soloist. He has held concertmaster positions in more than 10 orchestras throughout his life, and has led the orchestra in musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof and Chicago. He also has orchestral experience performing for New Zealand Opera and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Professional experience in a wide field of music ranging from Baroque to contemporary. Experiences include touring the South Island performing on Baroque viola with international artists Szabolcs Illés and Edita Keglerová, performing in 8 cities as part of a quintet. As a contemporary music artist, he has been invited to the CANZ (Composers Association New Zealand) Nelson workshop as a violinist/violist in both 2019 and 2020 to perform new works written by living New Zealand composers. As of 2020, he has performed works by more than 30 New Zealand composers.
As a recording artist, he released two singles: Fantail in Tokyo & Violin Sonata No.1 and an album: Five Bagatelles, in 2020. He also has experience playing in recordings for other artists – including UK singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson.
Solo appearances include performances in Japan, Vietnam, and around New Zealand.
In 2019, he was invited to Vietnam as a guest artist to perform for the Consulate General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City. The performance was in collaboration with Vietnamese celebrity singer Nguyễn Phi Hùng, and was broadcasted by numerous Vietnamese news outlets, gaining national attention.
In 2021, he was commissioned by the Baroque Music Community and Educational Trust of New Zealand to compose a 15 minute Concerto Grosso for the 2021 Baroque summer workshop and tour. The work was the final piece in the programme on the tour, and was met with a standing ovation. It was deemed a “splendid work” by Peter Mechen for Middle-C, in review of its Wellington performance.
In March 2021, he was also commissioned by pianist Oliver Jenks to compose a piece for toy piano. This work will be premiered by Jenks himself later in 2021.
Currently the Managing Director of Seasoning Ensemble, a professional chamber ensemble which he co-founded in March 2019. Seasoning Ensemble specialises in the performance of Baroque music, and Rakuto plays viola & violin in the group.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in performance and composition from the University of Canterbury in 2020, studying with Professor Mark Menzies, Dr. Reuben de Lautour, and Dr. Justin DeHart.