As students of the late Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music, Simon Callaghan and Hiroaki Takenouchi met in 2003 and since then have had a thriving duo partnership, giving concerts throughout the UK, Europe and Japan.
During that time they have developed a wide-ranging and extensive repertoire and their engagements have included gala performances with principals from the English National Opera and a number of significant recordings. Their two volumes of Delius’s orchestral works in arrangements for two pianos (mostly world premiere recordings, to coincide with the composer’s anniversary year) on the SOMM label were warmly received, International Record Review (June 2012) describing their playing as “sparkling and sincere” and BBC Music Magazine (July 2012) saying: “Simon Callaghan and Hiroaki Takenouchi…play with such love, panache, and exact synchronisation”. As well as playing all the mainstream works for both piano–four hands and two pianos, the Parnassius Piano Duo are particularly keen advocates of lesser-known repertoire, and have recently included works by Parry, Medtner, Percy Sherwood and Sterndale Bennett in their recital programmes. Their own arrangement of Rachmaninov’s second symphony for two pianos was premiered in London in 2017.
Simon and Hiroaki also have a busy international calendar of solo and chamber music engagements. Simon’s recent debut for Hyperion with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins reached No.3 in the specialist classical charts, the top ten in the Classic FM chart and garnered enthusiastic reviews across the press. Hiroaki’s premiere recording of the concerto by Catoire with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Martin Yates (on Dutton) was an important discography which includes works by Sterndale Bennett, Schumann and a number of contemporary composers. Simon and Hiroaki also put great value on teaching, Simon being Head of Piano at the Ingenium Academy while Hiro teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In 2018 the Parnassius Duo will perform in the Americana Festival at St John’s Smith Square and will make two recordings for Lyrita for release in 2019.
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