Acclaimed worldwide for his imagination and sensitivity, Motoki Hirai has appeared in the music capitals of the Far East, America and Europe, performing regularly in prestigious venues including Wigmore Hall (London), Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and Carnegie Hall (New York). Motoki has given performances in Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, UK, USA, the Caribbean, and his native Japan.
Highlights of the current season and beyond include solo recitals in Carnegie Hall (NY), Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna), Barbican Centre, St Martin-in-the-Fields (London), La Folle Journée, Ginza Oji Hall and Kioi Hall (Tokyo) and concerto performances with orchestras such as Czech Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as well as concert tours across the glove.
Whilst being a leading interpreter of the standard repertoire for piano solo, Motoki is equally at home with chamber music and lieder, shedding an inspiring and personal light on music from all periods. Since 1991, Motoki has collaborated with artists including Vilnius String Quartet, Michael Cox, Kalman Berkes, Barry Craft, John Pearce, Doudou N’Diaye Rose and his father, the celebrated cellist Takeichiro Hirai, whom Pablo Casals designated as his successor.
As a composer, Motoki has been commissioned to write new works for international artists in various fields which were performed and premièred in venues such as Carnegie Hall (NY); National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, D.C.); Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Duke’s Hall, Chelsea Festival, Dulwich Festival, Unicorn Theatre, Chelsea Flower Show (London); Brookes Festival 2014, Pegasus Theatre (Oxford); St. George’s (Bristol); Eden Project (Cornwall); Lincoln Cathedral (Lincolnshire); Canongate Kirk (Edinburgh); Smetana Hall (Prague); Cultural Summer Festival (Bratislava); Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris (Paris); Expo Milano 2015 (Milan); Auditori Pau Casals (Barcelona); Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Auditorium in Haifa Museum of Art (Israel); Al-Kasaba Theatre (Palestine); Théâtre National Daniel Sorano (Dakar); as well as La Folle Journée 2016, Tokyo Opera City, and NHK Hall (Japan).
In 1994, he was the guest artist at the Piano Convention in Nagano, Japan, where he gave a solo recital with a programme exclusively of his own works. As part of 2005 EU-Japan Year of People-to-People Exchanges, Motoki gave a highly successful recital on Europe Day at St. John’s Smith Square in London, where he included the world première of his own composition ‘Scenes from a Native Land’, which was repeated in Tokyo the following year, supported by European Union (EU).
To commemorate the centenary of Grieg’s death in 2007, Motoki premièred his own piano work ‘Hommage à Grieg’ in venues such as Wigmore Hall (London) and Tsuda Hall (Tokyo), in performances which were critically acclaimed by the press internationally including the Norwegian leading newspaper Aftenposten.
In celebration of Chopin’s bicentennial in 2010, Motoki Hirai published his piano composition ‘Hommage à Chopin’ (both solo and duet versions). His music has also been used in films such as ‘Voice’ (2004) and ‘The Emperor’s Tram Girls’ (2005).