Hiroshi Ikematsu Q&A

Monday, 3 September 2018

Star double-bassist Hiroshi Ikematsu enjoys a spot of trout fishing, and this October he arrives in Aotearoa from Japan, performing Schubert’s famous and shimmering “Trout” Quintet with the wonderful Australian pianist Piers Lane and our very own treasured New Zealand String Quartet. We sat down for a chat with him recently to find out more, check it out!


Having previously lived in New Zealand, what are you most looking forward to seeing or experiencing again?
Hiroshi: I’m looking forward to seeing the members of NZSQ, Rolf and new member Monique, and the pianist Piers Lane who I have never played with. I have played with NZSQ a lot and I always enjoy playing and rehearsing with them. They talk and argue a lot during the rehearsal because they know each other well. I love that.


You have previously studied under the famous contrabass soloist Gary Karr, mentioning that you were moved by his music. What was it about his music that moved you?
Hiroshi: At first, Gary’s sound is extraordinary, huge, warm and gorgeous. No one can imitate. Also, his playing style is close to a singer. He plays like a singer. It’s very rare as an instrumentalist.


You have also performed alongside Gary Karr, what was that like?
Hiroshi: I felt Gary’s big energy and he has an aura. He is not tall but seems very big.


How did you come to start playing the double bass?
Hiroshi: I wanted to be a musician when I was a high school student. But at that time, I couldn’t play any instrument, so I thought I could be a conductor! Then I visited a conductor and told him that I wanted to be a conductor. He said it’s difficult to enter the conductor department in music school. And he suggested I begin double bass and aim for the double bass department. He said it was not late to begin double bass. I didn’t like double bass at that time, but I accepted his suggestion. So, I began to play double bass when I was 19 years old.

You love to fish and have previously won the NZ National Pairs Fly Fishing championships in 2013, where is your favorite place to fish in New Zealand?
Hiroshi: Anywhere. Each river is different, and each river’s trout has a different face. I loved to fish in Rotorua and Taupo region but even fishing at Hutt river is great.


What are your plans after the tour finishes?
Hiroshi: I have just one day to stay in Auckland. It’s not enough time to go to river fishing. So, I want to fish squid at Auckland harbor at night.


Piers Lane and Hiroshi Ikematsu
with members of the NZSQ

Touring NZ 5 October - 12 October. Find out more here.