Ryunosuke Abe (Pepe)
Ryunosuke Abe, better known as Pepe, is a Japanese musician who plays both Trombone and Euphonium. He is the principal trombonist of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra.
Pepe started on the Euphonium at the age of 13 when he was in junior high school in Ehime, Japan. He was fortunate to have a good teacher at a school with a good band program. He continued playing the Euphonium during high school and began to play the trombone when he was 18.
In 1995 he won second prize in the young artist division of the solo competition at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference (ITEC) in the United States. Two years later, Pepe went to France for an international competition where he was moved -and shocked- by the incredible performances he heard from many great European musicians. This turned out to be a turning point in his life.
In 1998 he travelled to Perpignan, France, where he studied with Mel Culbertson, the former principal tuba player of the National Orchestra National of Bordeaux Aquitaine and professor at CNSMD in Lyon. Culbertson influenced both Pepe’s style of playing music and his life, and actually gave him the nickname “Pepe”!
Pepe received three gold medals for Euphonium, Trombone, and chamber music from CNR of Perpignan in 1999, and a few years later became assistant professor at CNR of Perpignan, where he gave lessons along with Mel Culbertson.
In 2003 he moved to Leipzig, Germany, where he was the principal euphonium (Tenorhorn) player with the Rundfunk-Blasorchester Leipzig (Leipzig Radio Wind Orchestra). The following year he moved to Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, as the principal trombonist of the Szabolcsi Szimfonikus Zenekar (Szabolcsi Symphony Orchestra).
In 2004, Pepe was a guest soloist at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Budapest, and was again invited to ITEC in Linz, Austria in 2012, where he performed Pantomime by the English composer, Philip Sparke.
Along with giving master classes and concerts in Japan, France, and Spain, Pepe won prizes in both the Euphonium and Trombone divisions at the 1st International Brass Competition in Jeju, South Korea in 2000.
After returning to Japan in 2005, Pepe continued his career as a conductor and teacher. He has been the musical director of Brass Band "Camellia" since 2008, and in 2012 performed in Japan the Premiere of Euphonium Concerto No.3 "Diamond Concerto" by Philip Sparke with the Ehime University wind band. Pepe was a guest artist at the Spanish Euphonium and Tuba Association (AETYB) Festival 2014 in Barcelona, where he presented a master-class and performed a solo recital.
Under the baton of Dutch composer Johan de Meij in Fukuoka in 2018, Pepe performed the TWO-BONE Concerto with co-soloist Jörgen van Rijen at the Japanese Premiere with the Kyushu Wind Orchestra.
"Music. A. Pepe" publishes Pepe’s arrangements, compositions, and CDs, including his solo Euphonium CD "Carmen Fantasy" (2005) and Double CD with Trombone and Euphonium "BOLD AS BRASS" (2012).
Pepe is a YAMAHA Trombone Artist, and uses the YAMAHA YSL-882OR, YSL-882GOR and YSL-671 for concerts and master-classes.
As an ADAMS Euphonium Artist, he performs on an ADAMS Custom E1 Euphonium.
Pepe Abe has been principal Trombone of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra since 2015, and Euphonium and Trombone professor at the ESA Music Academy.