Masakazu Ito is active as a performer, teacher, composer and recording artist. A recital in Germany marked his 1995 European debut. The following year, he performed at the Cal-State Luckman Theatre in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times noted, “Ito displayed conspicuous skill and tonal range . . . [he] proved himself to be a clean and technically adroit player, whizzing through thorny passages with aplomb.”
Ito has been featured as soloist with symphony orchestras throughout Japan and the United States. He appeared with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, of which the Denver Post wrote, “Guitarist Masakazu Ito further contributed to the overall spellbinding performance.” Ito has also been a guest at festivals such as the Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Methow Valley Music Festival in Twisp, Washington, the International Guitar Week at the University of Denver, and the Colorado Music Fest at Colorado State University, Pueblo, among others.
In March of 2003, Ito was chosen by the Japanese government to celebrate 150 years of US-Japan relations by presenting a solo guitar recital at the official residence of the Japanese Consul General in Denver, Colorado. He has also performed world premieres of works by three prominent American composers: Daniel Pinkham’s Sagas, for guitar and cello, at the Rocky Mountain Music Festival in 1997; Quiver Songs, a work by Stephen Everett for shakuhachi and guitar, at the Modern Festival in 1998, which featured Japanese portraits at a world music concert; and Ricardo Iznaola’s Musique de Salon No. 8 for guitar and string quartet, which was written for and dedicated to Ito in 2003.
As a teacher, Ito currently holds a position at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where he received his master’s degree under the guidance of Professor Ricardo Iznaola. Ito was appointed a core member of the Colorado Chamber Players in 2010.