The Yasuko Fukuda Scholarship Foundation

History & MissionGrowing Talents need Global IncentivesWhere & What did They Learn?

History & Mission

Yasuko Fukuda(1933-2001)

The Yasuko Fukuda Scholarship Foundation aims at supporting young talented pianists to study abroad. Back in 2003, the first scholarship audition was held after the last will of the late Yasuko Fukuda (the founder of PTNA) to discover young distinguished pianists and to offer 1 million yen scholarship. The activity has been expanding steadily, while pursuing its original purpose. Besides organizing biennial scholarship audition, the foundation has been offering opportunities of masterclass and workshops by renowned oversea professors and artists. It also gives scholarship to help young pianists participate in international festivals & seminars.

At the scholarship audition, 9 talented pianists under the age of 18 take one lesson from each of the three judges and perform 25-30 minutes program in public. The jury panel consists of three world renowned professors, and the past jurors include Jacques Rouvier, Dominique Merlet, Jon O'Conor, Piotr Paleczny, Bruno Rigutto, Mihail Voskresensky, Boris Petrushansky to name a few.

The highest prize winner is awarded "Yasuko Fukuda prize" and a scholarship of 1 million yen is advised to be used for studying abroad. The past winners are Shohei Sekimoto (2003), Rina Sudo (2005), Matthew Law (2007), Tomoki Sakata (2009), Aimi Kobayashi (2011), Ryota Yamazaki (2013), Yukine Kuroki(2015), Yasuko Furumi(2015) and a few others received prize of excellence each year.

Those young talents are highly acclaimed in international competitions. Shohei Sekimoto who the 4th prize in Chopin International Competition 2005 in Warsaw, and Tomoki Sakata became one of the finalists in Van Cliburn International Piano Competition 2013. Aimi Kobayashi performed in Carnegie Hall in N.Y. in 2012.

The expansion of activities was resulted in the establishment of Yasuko Fukuda Scholarship Foundation in 2010, soon followed by the acknowledgement by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan, as a public interest incorporated association on December 15th 2011.

Shohei Sekimoto

Rina Sudo

Law Matthew

Tomoki Sakata

Aimi Kobayashi

Ryota Yamazaki

Board Members

Chief Executive: Seikoh Fukuda (CEO of PTNA)

Executive members: Tokihiko Umezu (Director of Toho Gakuen College of Music, Chief music critic at The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd) / Akinori Kato (General Manager of PTNA) / Masayuki Sekita (Vice Chairman of Japan Arts Corporation) / Masafumi Nishimaki (Director of planning and production section at Toppan Hall)

Trustees: Fumiko Eguchi (Professor of Showa University of Music) / Yuko Ninomiya (Professor of Toho Gakuen College of Music) / Emiko Harimoto (Professor of Tokyo College of Music) / Reiko Matsuzaki (Professor of Heisei College of Music)

Growing Talents need Global Incentives

Jury Members for Scholarship Audition

2015: Stanislav Ioudenitch, Jan Jiracek von Arnim, Michael Lewin
2013: Ronan O'hora, Boris Petrushansky, Jerome Rose
2011: Alexander Braginsky, William Grant Nabore, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron
2009: Joaquin Soriano, Nikolai Petrov, Dina Yoffe
2007: Mikhail Voskressensky, Dominique Merlet, Piotr Paleczny
2005: John O'conor, Lee Kum-Sing, Jacques Rouvier
2003: Andrei Pisarev, Paul Pollei, Bruno Rigutto

Guest Professors for Special Masterclass

Paul Badura-Skoda, Michel Beroff, Andrea Bonatta, Veronique Bonnecaze, Alexander Braginsky, Olivier Gardon, Luiz de Moura Castro, Thomas Hell, Choong Mo Kang, Alexander Kobrin, Lee Kum-Sing, Robert Levin, Chong-Pil Lim, William Grant Nabore, John O'conor, Ronan O'hora, Enrico Pace, Piotr Paleczny, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Eva Poblocka, Pascal Roge, Peter Roesel, Jacques Rouvier, Andreas Staier, Mikhail Voskressensky, Dina Yoffe (since 2005, alphabetical order)

Lectures & Workshops

Special lectures: "How to understand pieces in the classical period?" (Federico Colli, pianist)/ "Listen to string performances" Masashi Nishimaki/ Director of Toppan Hall), English workshops

Scholarship Destinations; Int'l Festivals & Concerts

Tomoki Sakata, Como Piano Academy / Tomoki Sakata & Fuyuko Nakamura, International Festival Musical Kremlin / Fuyuko Nakamura, Musica Mundi Chamber Music Festival / Motohiro Sato, Paris Piano Study Tour / Yurika Kimura, solo concert in Canada / Kyoshiro Hirama, Eppan Piano Akademy / Airi Katada, Japan-Vietnam Exchange Concert / Takuya Tainaka, Seoul Music Festival Fringe Concert / Akari Mizumoto, The Asia Piano Competition in Malaysia / etc.

Total Amount of Prizes & Scholarships

PTNA has provided a total amount of 18,388,600 yen for the prizes and scholarships since 2003.

Supported by Donation

Thanks to the generous contribution from individuals and corporations, the foundation is able to offer scholarships to young talents. Donors are entitled to have the favorable tax treatment.

Supported by Donation

Thanks to the generous contribution from individuals and corporations, the foundation is able to offer scholarships to young talents. Donors are entitled to have the favorable tax treatment.


The Yasuko Fukuda Scholarship Audition is held every two years. Nine pianists are chosen by the document screening and entitled to proceed to the final round in August. Three international judges adjudicate the final stage, in which the candidates take 60 minutes lessons from each and play 25-30 minutes free programs at the final concert. 1 million yen scholarship is awarded to the Yasuko Fukuda prize winner.

Study Support

Young pianists need various musical exposures and incentives on a regular basis. The Yasuko Fukuda Foundation organizes masterclasses by renowned oversea artists and professors, ensemble opportunities, special lectures, English workshops etc.


The Yasuko Fukuda prizes and scholarships are to be used for studying abroad. Some pianists were invited by international festivals and concerts, such as International Festival "Musical Kremlin", Como Piano Academy, Aloha International Piano Festival etc. We are always looking for good opportunities for them to study, play, socialize, and exchange with pianists / musicians from other cultural backgrounds.

Where & What did They Learn?

Tomoki Sakata (20)

Since his success in the Yasuko Fukuda scholarship audition in 2009, he has had quite a few opportunities to perform in Japan and abroad, either in concerts, competitions and masterclasses. The foundation has been offering scholarships and study supports since then. He got inspired and taught by lots of great artists such as Prof. Paul Badura-Skoda and Prof. William Grant Nabore, who invited him to play in Europe. One of the remarkable achievements came in 2013 when he became one of the finalists in the Van Cliburn Piano International Competition (Texas, US). Among the program, he felt most attached to Scriabin Sonata No.5, since he bought a manuscript facsimile at Scriabin’s house in Moscow after playing a concert in the international festival “Musical Kremlin 2011” invited by Prof.Nikolai Petrov. All those musical experiences help him take shape as one of the most inspiring artists in his generation.

Natsumi Kuboyama (22)

The first exchange concert experience for her was in Moscow at the age of 6, where she visited with late Yasuko Fukuda. In 2009 she got the Prize of Excellence in the scholarship audition, and was invited to NY next year to perform solo and chamber music with American String Quartet. In 2014 spring, she visited Peru in order to teach, play, and contribute 20 pieces of keyboard harmonica to a local elementary school. Welcome by lots of school children, she was amazed by their curiosity and enthusiasm to classical music and the instrument that they had never heard before. “I am so glad to come here. I would like to show the joy and excitement of music to many people in the world!”

Latest Alumni News

Prizes & Awards: Akihiro Sakiya, 1st prize at Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio 'Jaen' 2014, and 3rd prize at Busoni International Piano Competition 2013 / Kaoru Jitsukawa, 2nd prize at The Southern Highlands International Piano Competition 2013 / Yuna Kobayashi, 2nd prize at International Piano Competition"Luciano Luciani". etc Concerts: 4 young talents from Yasuko Fukuda audition alumni were invited to play at the Embassy of Netherlands.