Yasuo Watani


Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mr Yasuo Watani is a Music Professor for Harmonica at Senzoku-Gakuen Music University of Japan and is one of the world’s leading chromatic harmonica soloists. He had his first lessons with Tadao Kabayashi in 1966 and has won prizes in competitions at a young age.
After graduating from the University of Doshisha, Kyoto, in 1984 with a degree in Economics, Mr Watani studied the chromatic harmonica with Helmut Herold at the HOHNER Konservatorium Trossingen in Germany from 1984 to 1988. Thereafter, he was invited to stay on as a lecturer till 2002.
Mr Watani has won the First Prize for both the International Harmonica Competition in the Netherlands (1988) and the 2nd World Harmonica Competition in the Championships and Festival in Trossingen, Germany (1989). Back in Japan, he received the Kyoto Cultural Award and two Japanese Music Awards.

With an active performing career, Watani has staged numerous solo concerts in many parts of the world inkling Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Argentina and Brazil. In addition, he has performed as a soloist with Wurttemburg Philharmoni Orchestra, Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa. His stunning performances were broadcasted on radio and television in Germany and Japan.


"The clear and pure tone of the Silver Concerto has been there with me during innumerable concerts all around the world, and it fascinates me still today."

Yasuo Watani PLAYS