Born in 1928 in Tokyo,Takahiro Sonoda, Japan's leading and one of the most important pianists in the world, received his first piano lesson from his father Kiyohide, a noted music educator.

In 1939, his father brought him to Leo Shirota (one of the disciples of Ferrucio Busoni) , under whom Takahiro studied for 11years.

In 1954, Sonoda was the soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan on his first visit to Japan and with Karajan’s recommendation he took off to Europe where he had private instructions under Marguerite Long in Paris and Helmut Roloff in Berlin.

The following year, he gave a successful debut as a soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. After this event, extensive concert engagements took him all across Japan, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Soviet Union and the USA.

His appearances included performances under the baton of prestigious conductors such as Otmar Suitner, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sergiu Celibidache and Herbert Blomstedt, with orchestras such as Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Dresden Staatskapelle, with chamber ensembles such as Borodin, Wien Musikverein, Artis String Quartets among others.

As for the recordings, he recorded the Forty-Eight Well-Tempered Clavier twice, complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas trice, the complete Arnold Schoenberg piano works, and various works by Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms for which have all been very highly acclaimed. Between 1998 and 2000, he has also recorded an all Beethoven Piano Concertos with Kyushu Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Heiichiro Oyama.

From 1960s to 70s, he recorded quite a lot for Columbia/Denon but after these years, almost all of the recordings were made for Evica & Accustika label. From Bach to 20th century’s music, the broadness of his repertoire and the profoundness of his interpretation for each repertoire are incomparable.

Beside his busy schedule for concerts and recordings ,Sonoda was active for raising musical talents of the next generation and was an ardent professor at Kyoto University of Arts for 14 years from 1968 and at Showa University of Music for 9 years from 1984.

He was also a highly respected and sought-after judge for world-prestigious piano competitions including Rubinstein, Geneva, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Munich, Queen Elisabeth, Van Cliburn, Long=Thibaud, Busoni , Messiaen and Japan International Competitions.

In 1985, crowning his name on its title and presided by himself, Takahiro Sonoda International Piano Competition had been started in Oita Prefecture in Japan. This competition was held every year until 2002 as its 18th and the last occasion.

In 1981, he was appointed to be the Member of Japan Art Academy. Among other prestigious awards he received include the Japan Record Academy Award for his recording of Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata in 1996, and the Suntory Music Award in 1997. While preparing for his next concert scheduled on 2 days after, Takahiro Sonoda died of stroke on October 7, 2004.