It was 1990 when a young pianist at age of 20 won third place in the prestigious 59th Japan Music Competition. Since then, Katsunori Ishii has appeared as a soloist with all of the major orchestras in Japan. In the summer of 1992, young Ishii was off to the Tanglewood Music Center where he was invited to join the fellowship program at Tanglewood Music Institute. It was there that he studied under Leon Fleisher, Gilbert Kalish, Peter Serkin and Garrik Ohlsson, some of the greatest piano talent of the time. In the following year he was a prize winner at the 10th Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition in Cleveland.
Back in Tokyo, Katsunori Ishii appeared as a soloist in several recital series sponsored by the Van Cliburn Foundation Japan Committee and the Japanese Cultural Agency. He received the J. Fiedelman Piano Prize in 1996 while also graduating with a master’s degree from Mannes College of Music in New York. He has given numerous concerts at various festivals including the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Michigan and the Csehy Summer Festival in Philadelphia. While in Germany in 1996, he studied with Karl-Heinz
Kämmerling at the Stiftung Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Lübeck under a full scholarship. In the following year he won first prize at both the Japanese-American International Piano Competition in New York and the Hamamatsu International Piano academy Competition in Japan.
Katsunori Ishii has performed with numerous orchestras including the Japan Philharmonie Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Costa Rica National Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra New York and under conductors such as Golo Berg, Christian Mandel, Jorge Mester, Junichi Hirokami, Kimbo Ishii-Eto.
Along with his numerous achievements on solo piano, Katsunori Ishii also perform chamber music concerts, having appeared with such chamber icons as Werner Trip and Dennis Shappovalov. He is currently a faculty member of piano at Tokyo College of Music in Japan and offers master classes at many other academies. He is also a member of Experts & Screening Committee the 7th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition 2009.