Hikaru Iwakawa - A Journey of Musical Exploration
Hikaru Iwakawa, born on April 8, 1988, in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, is a versatile musician, captivating audiences worldwide as a Quena player, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. His journey into music began at the age of nine when he picked up the Quena, a traditional Andean flute. By the time he turned twelve, he had already embarked on his performing career. He further honed his skills by mastering both modern and Baroque recorders during the same period, and in his teens, he delved into the realms of composition and conducting.
Drawing from his vast knowledge and technical expertise, Hikaru Iwakawa forged a unique Quena playing style that garnered praise as groundbreaking, pushing the boundaries of conventional performances. Inspired by the rich musical heritage of Latin America, he embarked on a transformative journey in 2008, exploring the musical landscapes of Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and other countries in the region. In 2013, he made Buenos Aires his base of activities, immersing himself in the vibrant musical culture of South America.
His talents have graced numerous international music festivals and touring performances across South America and Europe, collaborations with renowned maestros and music groups like Dino Saluzzi, the late Jaime Torres, Jorge Cumbo, Quique Sinesi and the early music ensemble "Capella Mediterranea", earning him widespread acclaim and recognition.
Through his self-founded labels (Luces de Marugada and OTONOMADO, now Mi Mágica Luz), he has released an impressive array of recordings, showcasing a diverse range of musical expressions. These albums have garnered critical acclaim and accolades, often being selected as yearly favorites by esteemed music journals both at home and abroad.
Hikaru Iwakawa is renowned for his multifaceted musical pursuits. Alongside his performing career, he actively collaborates with contemporary composers, dedicates time to reviving ancient instruments, and shares his expertise through masterclasses and workshops, primarily in South American countries.
Even amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Hikaru Iwakawa remained undeterred, continuing his creative endeavors and releasing two solo albums, "Baroquena" and "Homenajes," back-to-back. Moreover, he opened the Quena workshop "CACHI," passionately pursuing his craft.
In January 2022, he achieved a momentous milestone as the first Quena player to perform in the prestigious "B→C" event, hosted by the Tokyo Opera City, renowned as a gateway for classical performers. The concert received widespread acclaim from all quarters, solidifying his reputation as an extraordinary musician.
Additionally, Hikaru Iwakawa holds the distinction of being the first non-South American member and the final Quena player to join the group of the late maestro Jaime Torres, considered an Argentine national treasure and a legendary player of the charango.
Hikaru Iwakawa's journey is a testament to his unwavering passion for music, and he continues to enchant audiences worldwide with his innovative spirit and unparalleled artistry, captivating both music enthusiasts and formal connoisseurs alike.
We are brothers of the same mother who is called "music". And he himself is “music”.
- Dino SALUZZI, bandoneon player & composer
Incredible! How can you produce such complex sounds with such a simple flute?
- Gustavo SANTAOLALLA, musician
Among all the musicians I have encountered so far, Hikaru IWAKAWA is by far the most incredible, an extraordinary player. His performance completely transcends the realm of this Andean ethnic instrument called "Quena".
Hikaru is a musician who, like Heinz Holliger did for the oboe, is causing a revolution that transforms the concept of Quena. Truly, an exceptional talent.
- Yasuhiro KASAMATSU, composer