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Jason Kouchak is a French pianist, composer and singer-songwriter.[1]

Jason Kouchak
Musician Jason Kouchak.jpg
Background information
GenresClassical, chanson, new age
Occupation(s)pianist, singer, songwriter, composer
Instrumentspiano, vocals, violin
Years active1990–present
Websitejasonkouchak.com

Early lifeEdit

Jason Mariano Kouchak was born in Lyon, France. He was educated at Westminster School and studied classical piano at the Royal College of Music and the University of Edinburgh. He is a descendant of Alexander Kolchak, the Russian naval commander.

Performing and recording careerEdit

Jason Kouchak has recorded five albums. Two of which were recorded at Abbey Road Studios. He has appeared on British Television (BBC) and the Japanese Broadcasting company (NHK) performing his own musical compositions. He has toured globally as a classical pianist, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

He has performed at the Royal Festival Hall (London), Salle Pleyel (Paris), and the Mariinsky Theatre (Saint Petersburg) with recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Other performances include "The Moon represents my Heart" arranged for Julian Lloyd Webber & Jiaxin Cheng at the Chelsea Arts Club celebrating Lloyd Webber's 60th Birthday gala concert and Chopin's bicentennial Guildhall Concert with singer and actress Elaine Paige in 2010.

He has also sung in cabaret performances at the Café de Paris and the Café Royal.

Jason performed at the Galle Literary Festival[2] 2012 with Tom Stoppard and in the same year gave a piano recital at the opening of the London Chess Classic.[3] In 2012 he became the Director of Music for the 20th anniversary of the French Film Festival UK in London and Edinburgh, performing on Chopin's anniversary at the British Embassy in Paris.[4]

Select appearancesEdit

In 1990 he was a guest artist at Princess Margaret's 60th birthday celebration at the Ritz Hotel and appeared as guest classical pianist at Zeffirelli's film premiere of Hamlet in the same year.

Kouchak performed his interpretation of "Sakura" for Emperor Akihito at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 1998. He also performed this at the Kobe earthquake charity event in 1995. This piece was recorded with Julian Lloyd Webber on his album Cello Moods and presented by Olympic ice skater Yuka Sato in 1999 and in 2017 a 20 year celebration concert was performed in Brussels.[5]

In 2011 and 2013 Kouchak performed the Russian song "Dark Is the Night" with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.[6],[7] In commemoration of the Russian Revolution 100 year anniversary a special concert was given in 2017.[8]

He performed Scheherazade at the official opening ceremony for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in March 2015[9] and composed the Festival's official 2016 theme song.[10],[11] In 2017 Kouchak organised and performed at a special Suomi 100 year celebration concert at the Embassy of Finland in London.[12]

Jason Kouchak published a music homage to Carlsen and Caruana on the eve of the World Chess Championship match 2018 entitled "Victory Moves". In 2018, Kouchak also directed and composed a chess-themed ballet project with two orchestral ballet pieces at Holland Park outdoor chess set to mark the 100-year anniversary of women's rights and empowerment in the UK.[13] In June 2019, at the Norway Chess closing ceremony, Kouchak played Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor and the world premier of his own composition "Queen of the Knight". This performance was based on Philidor's Princess of Norway and Mozart's Queen of the Night aria reflecting the fusion of classical chess with blitz Armageddon that characterised the tournament.[14] In July 2019, Kouchak performed at the "Heart of Finland" international chess tournament opening ceremony.[15]

Public contributionsEdit

Kouchak's contributions include the launching of two Children's Giant Chess Sets[16] at Holland Park, London with Stuart Conquest in 2010 and in The Meadows (park) Edinburgh in 2013[17] and John Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland chess set.[18] In 2013 Kouchak led a campaign to save the famous piano department at Harrods.[19]

He also composed the official chess charity theme song "Moving Forward" for CSC.[20][21]

Kouchak founded the Tsubasa Children's Choir in 2011 which opened the Matsuri Festival and performed Jupiter from Holst's Planets suite in the Queen's Jubilee year 2012 at Trafalgar Square, London. In 2016 his chess and ballet musical work was performed at the British Museum[22] and in New York[23] celebrating the role of women as Queens in chess. A specially designed 3D Royal Queen chess piece was unveiled in honour of the Queen’s Journey in the same year.[24] Kouchak choreographed and composed the theatrical stage production of the Queen's Journey in 2017 at Judit Polgar's Global Chess Festival.[25] In 2018 he received an award as a Goodwill Ambassador of Artistic Values of Chess.[26][27]

DiscographyEdit

  • Space Between Notes (2017)
  • Comme d'Habitude (2011)[1]
  • Midnight Classics (2008)
  • Forever (2001)
  • Watercolours (1999)
  • Première Impression – 1997
  • Cello Moods (Sakura only)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Kouchak, Jason. "Comme d'Habitude". j. kouchak. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018". Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  3. ^ "London Chess Classic 2012". londonchessclassic.com. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Media Release: French Film Festival celebrates 20 glorious years". Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  5. ^ "twenty-years-on-from-jason-kouchaks-across-the-water-piano-recitals-in-edinburgh-and-belfast". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  6. ^ "London Gala concert in memory of the Arctic Convoys 1941–1945". Dark Night. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  7. ^ "London Gala concert in memory of the Arctic Convoys 1941–1945". Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Descendant of Alexander Kolchak to perform Tchaikovsky and Borodin in memory of Russian Revolution". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Catch Up with Jason Kouchak Emirates Lit Fest 2016". Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Line up of authors for Emirates Festival of Literature revealed;News". SOCIETY. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  11. ^ "emirates-festival-of-literature-launches-complete-line-up-for-2016-event-to-be-held-from-march-1-12-set-to-be-a-brilliant-experience-for-all". Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Four Seasons in One Day Concert". 30 November 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  13. ^ "World Championship Musical Interludes". chessbase.com. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Closing out Norway Chess with music". chessbase.com. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Jason Kouchak haluaa tuoda ensi kesänä Jyväskylään shakkia ja tangoa yhdistävän esityksen". ksml.fi. 20 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  16. ^ "Making mates on giant chessboard in Holland Park | News". Thisislondon.co.uk. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Giant chess board bid to fight child obesity | News". news.scotsman.com. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  18. ^ "£350,000 Alice chessboard and a white rabbit at Fortnum's | News". news.standard.co.uk. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  19. ^ "Too many handbags and not enough maps; News". news.standard.co.uk. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Smart move young man | News". thesundaytimes.co.uk. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  21. ^ "CSC Chess in Schools and Communities". chessinschools.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  22. ^ "Chess & Ballet at the British Museum". chessdom.com. 29 March 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  23. ^ "The Queen's Journey". yonkers.com. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  24. ^ "The Queen's Journey: 3D printing in action". www.rbkc.gov.uk. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  25. ^ "Judit Polgar's Global Chess Festival". globalfestival.com. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Judit Polgar's Global Chess Festival". globalfestival.com. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  27. ^ "A Perfect Day in Budapest". globalfestival.com. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.

External linksEdit