Born in Sapporo, Japan, Shigenori Kudo began learning the flute under Nobuhiro Sasaki at age 10 and was a student of Souichi Minegishi at the Toho Gakuen School of Music. Kudo later studied under Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where he completed his degree with the First Prize in 1979. The year before, in 1978, Shigenori Kudo won the second Paris International Flute Competition along with the France Solo Performance Federation Award. He also won the First Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition held in 1980 and concurrently earned the Prix du President de la Republique as he catapulted into the spotlight.
To date, Shigenori Kudo has visited over 180 cities throughout the world and has frequently performed jointly with more than 30 orchestras in Europe and the United States. He is active as an international solo artist and has performed with such conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin and Krzysztof Penderecki and also has performed together with top artists that include Mstislav Leopol'dovich Rostropovich, Rampal, Jessye Norman, Maria João Pires and Yuri Abramovich Bashmet. In 1994 he was invited to perform at the Mediterranean on the Sea Festival and participated in an approximately two-week concert tour together with such artists as Rostropovich, Augustin Dumay, Pires, Bashmet, Bruno Leonardo Gelber and Gil Shaham. In 1998, he performed together with the Saito Kinen Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa for concerts associated with the Nagano Olympics. Shigenori Kudo also energetically engages in recording activities and has released more than 60 CD titles from domestic and overseas labels, with “Rampal and Kudo duo Flutes” (Sony Classical) winning the fiscal 1988 Agency for Cultural Affairs Artistic Production Award.
In recent years, he has ambitiously continued his activities that include participation in music festivals mainly in France and domestic and overseas tours with jazz superstar Claude Bolling and the Ensemble Esprit France formed with fellow musicians from Paris. He has also performed for many years with the Mito Chamber Orchestra and Saito Kinen Orchestra. At present, Shigenori Kudo also serves as the specially appointed first flutist for the orchestra ensemble Kanazawa.
He is also active as a leader in cultivating young musicians in his position as professor at Tokyo College of Music and Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and a visiting professor at Ueno Gakuen University, Osaka College of Music and Elisabeth University of Music.
Other Brass & Woodwind Artists
Mathieu Dufour is principal flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1999. Before coming to Chicago, he was principal flute solo of the Paris National Opera Orchestra from 1996 to 1999. Prior to his appointment there, he served as principal flute solo of the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse for three years.
Nobuya Sugawa is an internationally acclaimed saxophonist whom Japan is very much proud of. He has assumed a role of the concert master of Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra for almost 22 years from 1989 through 2010. Currently along with the activities as a soloist, he performs as a member of Trouvère Quartet. He also serves as the resident conductor of Yamaha Symphonic Band, and is a visiting professor of Tokyo University of Arts.