Born in 1954, Ken Hakii grew up and studied the viola in Tokyo. He continued his studies at the Cologne Conservatory with Rainer Moog and had lessons with Milton Thomas and William Primrose.
Ken Hakii joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1985. He has served as principal violist since 1992.
Hakii performed as a soloist with the orchestra in Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote on a European tour in 1997.
He performed György Kurtág’s …concertante… for violin, viola and orchestra with his wife, violinist Hiromi Kikuchi, in November 2003. The couple also performed this work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London, the Teatro della Scala Orchestra in Milan and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, among others. They performed at leading international music festivals in Salzburg, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris and Venice.
In 2003, the CD Signs, Games and Messages, featuring music by Kurtág by Ken Hakii and Hiromi Kikuchi among others, was named ‘best recording of the year’ by The New York Times and was awarded an Edison Classical and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
Thanks to a generous private donor RCO donors’ foundation Stichting Donateurs was able to purchase a viola for Ken Hakii built Francesco and Giovanni Grancino (Milan, ca. 1680). Ken Hakii was given this instrument on loan in 2011.