Masahiro Arita is known all over the world for playing the flute in its many different incarnations as used throughout music history. With his tireless study and matchless musicality, he entrances audiences by brilliantly illuminating the works of various eras.
In 1972 he graduated with top honors from Toho Gakuen School of Music, and was awarded First Prize at the Mainichi Music Competition. He enrolled the following year at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, and began touring places like Europe and Japan as a member of Collegium Aureum. In 1975, he graduated from the conservatory with the Premier Prix, and won First Prize in the flauto traverso category at the Bruges International Music Competition. Entering Holland's Royal Conservatory of Music in the Hague in 1977, he graduated in six months with a high honors soloist diploma. His collaborations are varied and international, including soloist performances in the Japanese concerts of Frans Bruggen leading the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the Kuijken Brothers, and Trevor Pinnock's English Concert; as well as in chamber music concerts with Trevor Pinnock and Rachel Podger (1999 and 2001). He is highly regarded not only for his musicianship but also for his scholarship, and he has been invited by the Bach Archive Leipzig to give lectures and seminars in addition to concerts.
His work as a flutist within Japan is also quite distinguished, and he takes part in many recitals, ambitious concerts, programs, and chamber series. Arita is best know for his mastery of many different incarnations of the flute, as it has changed over the course of the 400 years since the Renaissance.
Also active as a conductor, he leads the Tokyo Bach-Mozart Orchestra, a group he founded in 1989 and conducted in their debut concert. He received attention with the same orchestra in 2006 for commemorating the 25th anniversary of Mozart's birth by both conducting and performing in an ambitious program featuring all of the composer's works for flute and orchestra presented in one evening. He affected the group's further evolution in 2009, remaking them as the first Japanese original instruments group focused on Romantic music, under the name "Classical Players Tokyo". He is dedicated to crossing the boundaries between period instruments and modern instruments, tireless in his search for new musical directions. His guest conducting engagements include the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, the Kyoto Chamber Orchestra, and the Kitakyushu Hall Ensemble .
His 1985 release Flute Music of the German Baroque (UCCA-3160) was awarded the Art Work Prize of the Agency for Cultural Affairs and also received Record Academy prizes in two separate categories. His album La Flute de Pan (COCQ-83281?83282) won top prize of the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 1999. Other releases include Trance Century (CD:AVCL-25004、DVD AUDIO:AVAL-25404), and many other compact discs on Archiv, Denon Ariale, and avex-CLASSICS. He received wide acclaim for his 2009 release of an album of Bach flute sonatas, performed on a modern flute. His most recent recording is of Chopin's Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 2 with Ikuyo Nakamichi and the Classical Players Tokyo.
In 1989 he received the 21st Suntory Music Award.
He is a professor, and the Director of Period Music Research at Showa Academia Musicae, Distinguished Professor at Toho Gakuen School of Music, and Music Director of the 18th Century Music Festival Association's Early Music Festival in Fukuoka.