Tsutsumi made his debut as cellist when he was 12 years old with the Tokyo Philharmonic and at 18 he started his first concert tour as soloist throughout India and Europe. He was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Indiana University with János Starker.
His concert performances have taken him around the world with the most important orchestras (ORTF, Berlin Radio Symphony, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Rotterdam, London, Chicago, Indianapolis, Toronto and Vancouver philharmonic orchestras, etc.) and has participated in festivals like the Algoma Fall, Banff, Guelph Spring, Ontario Place, Stratford and Ravinia.
Tsutsumi has collaborated with the Western Ontario and Illinois Universities. Since 1988 he has been a professor at Indiana University.
He is beloved throughout the world of cello students because he is the cellist on most of the famous Suzuki CDs which accompany the Suzuki cello practice books. Tsutsumi's style and intonation in these recordings inspire thousands of students every day when they practice along with him.
Among the many distinctions received, he was awarded the 1970 Suntory Music Award for his contribution to the world of music.
He is married to playwright and scholar Harue Tsutsumi.