Canterbury musician and mentor take new music on tour
An award-winning University of Canterbury music student will be joined on stage by his mentor and professor when they tour the country with a new show over the next few weeks.Rakuto Kurano, 21, a violinist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, will perform DUPLEXITY at venues from Auckland to Stewart Island.
He will be joined on
the tour by Professor Mark Menzies, Head of Performance at
the University of Canterbury. Professor Menzies, a
violinist, violist, pianist, composer, and conductor, has
been Kurano's mentor since 2017 and was his occasional
co-performer at university events, where the pair have
delighted audiences with their enthusiasm and virtuosic
“It’s an honour to have Mark join me on stage, and a real stamp of approval for this tour,” Kurano says.
DUPLEXITY features three newly
commissioned works by young New Zealand composers Liam
Furey, Georgina Palmer and Robin Watson, as well as a new
work by Kurano.
“New Zealand has so many
incredibly talented young composers, and I want to share
their music across the country,” he
Also on the programme are familiar works
by composers such as Brahms, Schumann and
Originally from Japan, Kurano has
established himself in Aotearoa New Zealand as a versatile
violinist, violist, pianist, composer and conductor. He
graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Performance and
Composition from the University of Canterbury last year and
continued with an honours degree this
Kurano already has a long list of
performing credits to his name in New Zealand, Vietnam and
Japan. Awards include the Lilburn Trust Award in 2020 for
the composition Alien Abduction Suite, the 2019
NZTrio composing competition for Fantail in Tokyo and
NZ Harp Duo composition competition wins in 2016 and
This isn’t Kurano’s first time on the
road. In January 2021, the Baroque Music Community and
Educational Trust of New Zealand commissioned him to compose
a 15-minute Concerto Grosso for their 2021 Baroque
summer workshop and tour. The work was the final piece in
the programme on the 11-concert tour and was met with
numerous standing ovations. Peter Mechen called it a
“splendid work” in a review for
DUPLEXITY is supported by University of Canterbury’s School of Music and will tour to Wanaka (27 August), Auckland (28 August), Stewart Island (30 August), Christchurch (4 September), Dunedin (5 September), and Timaru (6 September). Tickets are available on Eventfinda and at the door (cash only).
Rakuto Kurano biography:
Rakuto Kurano is a violinist, violist, pianist, composer and conductor. He is a violinist in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and makes regular appearances on violin, viola and piano as a chamber/orchestral musician and soloist. He has held concertmaster positions in more than 10 orchestras, and has orchestral experience performing for New Zealand Opera and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Kurano has toured the South Island performing on Baroque viola with international artists Szabolcs Illés and Edita Keglerová, performing in eight cities as part of a quintet. As a contemporary music artist, he has been invited to the Composers Association New Zealand Nelson workshop as a violinist/violist in both 2019 and 2020 to perform new works written by New Zealand composers.
As a recording artist, he released two singles: Fantail in Tokyo and Violin Sonata No.1 and an album: Five Bagatelles, in 2020. He has played on recordings for artists including UK singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson.
include performances in Japan, Vietnam, and around New
In 2019, he was invited to Vietnam as a guest artist to perform with Vietnamese celebrity singer Nguyn Phi Hùng for the Consulate General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City.
As a multi award-winning composer, his works have been performed by professional artists such as NZTrio, NZ Harp Duo, and Professor Mark Menzies.
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.
Kurano 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.