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The founder of the Roland Corporation, Ikutaro Kakehashi made a personal visit to the University of Glamorgan’s ATRiuM building in the capital today, 4th April, to launch the UK’s first university-based Music Academy in partnership with the corporation.
On one of his rare visits to the UK, the 78 year-old was awarded with an honorary professorship by the University for his contribution to music and gave an inspirational speech about his career to the 150 strong audience.
During the 1950s in Japan, Ikutaro Kakehashi, repaired electronic organs and created new prototype organs, all the while running an electrical appliance shop. At 28, he decided to devote himself to music, the first step of a continuing search for the ideal electronic musical instrument.
Since stepping down as Chairman and CEO in 2001, Mr Kakehashi has the role of ‘Founder & Special Consultant’, supporting Roland management with his extensive experience, vision and connections.
Mr Kakehashi’s visit marks the official launch of the University of Glamorgan’s ‘Music Academy’ in partnership with Roland UK which aims to implement the delivery of world-class music training both nationally and internationally, through the national qualifications framework.
The ATRiuM will now be home to some of the UK’s most state of the art music equipment and production facilities. Members of the public will be able to sign up for a range of full and part time courses, ranging from individual modules taken from the Roland Foundation Degree in Popular Music Technology, to Level 4 and 5 instrumental tuition, to professional courses based on specific Roland products and delivered by Roland staff.
John Booth, Managing Director of Roland UK said, “Mr Kakehashi’s impact on the music industry has been colossal. In addition to being the driving force in the design of cutting-edge music technology, he has also been influential in shaping the sound and style of music itself. His achievements will influence generations of musicians for years to come. The award of an Honorary Professorship recognises his amazing contribution to the music industry and education.”
Professor David Halton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan commented, “It is with great pleasure that we honour Mr Kakehashi with an Honorary Professorship of the University of Glamorgan. ATRiuM will be home to the first university-based Roland Music Academy in the UK and we are delighted that Mr Kakehashi visited the faculty in person to mark the launch of this forward-looking project.”