Yasunori Imamura

Yasunori Imamura


• Born 1953


One of the leading lutenists of his generation, Yasunori Imamura has performed as soloist, accompanist, and member of several early music ensembles, with well over 100 recordings to his credit in those diverse roles. Imamura is also the founder and music director of Fons Musicae, a vocal/instrumental ensemble devoted largely to Baroque and early Classical repertory. As a recording artist, Imamura is best known for his CD set of the complete lute works of J.S. Bach and complete sonatas of Silvius Leopold Weiss. But his repertory is vast, taking in works by Vivaldi, Telemann, Dowland, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and lesser known composers like Simone Molinaro, Robert de Visée, and Agostino Steffani. Imamura has been active as a teacher since 1984 and regularly gives master classes. He has performed as a member of Camerata Köln, La Stagione, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and Le Parlement de Musique, and has collaborated with such artists as countertenor Gérard Lesne, mezzo-sopranos Teresa Berganza and Cecilia Bartoli, and keyboardist/conductors Christophe Rousset, Ton Koopman, and Jos van Immerseel. Imamura has recorded for CPO, Capriccio, Claves, Etcetera, and many other labels.

Yasunori Imamura was born in Osaka, Japan, on October 19, 1953. He studied music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, in Basel, Switzerland, where his teachers included Eugen Müller-Dombois and Hopkinson Smith. Following his 1981 graduation Imamura had further studies with Ton Koopman (bass continuo and interpretation) and Wolfgang Neininger (composition).

From 1984, Imamura has taught lute performance at the Conservatoire National de Région de Strasbourg. Among the earliest of Imamura's recordings was a 1988 Erato disc of excerpts from Lully's Comedies-Ballets, wherein he performed as a member of the Les Musiciens du Louvre.

Imamura took on a second teaching post in 1989, this one at the Hochschule für Musik, Frankurt-am-Main. Among his first solo recordings were volumes one (1990) and two (1991) of the complete J.S. Bach sonatas, on Etcetera (reissued in 2006).

Throughout the 1990s Imamura gained recognition as a soloist while remaining active with various ensembles. His 1993 Capriccio disc of theorbo pieces by Robert de Visée was another critical success.

In 1997 Imamura founded the period-instrument ensemble Fons Musicae. He has regularly conducted and performed with this orchestra in the new century both in concert and on recordings. Among its more acclaimed recordings is the 2009 New Pan disc of Agostino Steffani works entitled Cantatas, Duets & Sonatas. Imamura still holds his Strasbourg and Frankfurt teaching posts.