Kei Koito has risen to the highest ranks of the world’s concert organists and is widely acclaimed as one of the most exciting performers of our time for Baroque organ music.
Born into a family of artists, Kei Koito started studying music at the age of six, taking lessons in piano, cello, voice and harpsichord. At the age of twelve, she decided to study the organ, her favorite instrument, with Mitchio Akimoto in Tokyo and subsequently continued her studies with Pierre Segond in Geneva and Xavier Darasse in Toulouse.
Thereafter, she studied Early music in Fribourg with organist, harpsichordist, and musicologist Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, as well as Baroque music with Baroque violinist and conductor Reinhard Goebel in Cologne. At the same time, she studied philosophy and musical aesthetics at the University of Fine Arts & Music in Tokyo and attended courses in Geneva, in composition, orchestration and musical analysis from the 16th century to the present day with composer Éric Gaudibert.
Since 1985, Kei Koito has specialized in Baroque music, notably that of J.S. Bach and his most important predecessors. Her interpretive approach is the result of her tireless research into historical performance practice, her extensive investigation of period instruments, and her personal intuition and inspiration.
As part of her career as a concert organist, Kei Koito has performed all over Europe, the United States, South America, Russia and Japan. She has also collaborated, among others, for Bach’s organ sinfonias (cantatas) and Handel's organ concertos with the Baroque orchestra Musica Antiqua Köln (dir. Reinhard Goebel), for the Italian Renaissance, the French pre-classical and classical repertoires with the Ensemble Gilles Binchois (dir. Dominique Vellard). In addition, she has performed a Haydn’s organ concerto with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and Poulenc's Organ Concerto with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Major Concerts & Festivals Kei Koito has recorded several Early organ music CDs, playing on outstanding historical instruments. She has received numerous prestigious prizes and international awards, including several “Diapason d'Or”, “Choc”/Le Monde de la Musique/Classica, “Choix du mois”/France Musique, “Clé”/ResMusica, “ffff - Événement exceptionnel”/Télérama, “10/10”/Répertoire, Early Music Review “5/5”, Journal für die Orgel “5/5 & Referenz”, Choir & Organ “5/5”, Le Temps “5/5”, as well as “Editor's Choice” (Gramophone, Musik & Theater, Toccata-Alte Musik Aktuell, Record Geijutsu, Orgues Nouvelles, Organists’ Review, Classical Newsletter, Classical CD Reviews, Ecouter-Voir, Scènes Magazine, 24 heures, L’Eveil culturel). Her recordings have also received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the general public.
A highly sought-after pedagogue, Kei Koito has been Professor of organ at the Lausanne University of Music since 1992. From the very start, her classes have brought together students from all over the world. Since 2012, she has devoted herself entirely to comparative research on the repertoire of Bach, his predecessors, precursors and contemporaries.
She gives lectures and masterclasses as a visiting professor (at the Royal Academy of Music in London, at the Baroque Academy of Gmunden / Salzburg, at the Conservatories of Rouen, Quebec and Buenos Aires, at the University of Belgrade as well as at various American universities); She is also frequently invited to be part of the jury of international organ competitions (in Maastricht, Aachen, Liège, Wasquehal, St-Omer, Geneva, Alkmaar, as well as for the Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne and at the 50th St Albans Organ Competition).
Since the creation of the “Lausanne Bach Festival” in 1997, Kei Koito, Founder, has been Artistic Director of both the festival and the “Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne” (International Organ Competition).
Her recent recordings released on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi / Sony label : “Organ Music before Bach”, works by Pachelbel, Froberger, Muffat, Kerll & Fischer (2015), “Baroque Organ Concertos”, works by Haendel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Albinoni & Torelli (2016), “Splendor”, Golden Age of North Organ Music, works by the Praetorius family of Hamburg, Scheidemann, Weckmann, Tunder, Buxtehude & Böhm (2017), and her new album “Bach to BACH” : All Bach program (2019). The entirety of her albums has received beautiful echoes from many international reviews. New Albums.