Katsuya Watanabe was born in Japan in 1966. He began learning the piano at the age of three and the oboe at thirteen. From 1985 to1989 he has studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
He won the first prize and the Grand Prix at the 7th Japan Wind and Percussion Competition in 1990.
In 1988, whilst still studying at University, he became co-principal oboist in the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa and remained in the post until 1992.
He moved to Germany and held the position of solo oboist first in the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal from 1992 to 1996, then in Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe for a year, and from 1997 to 2008 in the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. At present he is solo oboist in the Solistes Europeens Luxembourg and increasingly devotes himself to solo activities, giving frequent recitals and performing in concerts with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and many other ensembles.
In 2011, he has served as the chairperson of the jury for the Oboe branch of the 28th Japan Wind and Percussion Competition.
He has released many CDs including “Impression” (2008), “Summer Song” (2010) and “Poem” (2012) through Profile Records (Germany), and “Impression” (2008) won the highest praise of the Frankfurter Allgemeinezeitung.

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