Takahiro Sonoda, Japan's leading and one of the most important pianists, started his piano studies with Leo Shirota in 1939. After which, he had private instructions under Marguerite Long in Paris and Helmut Roloff in Berlin.
Takahiro Sonoda was the soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan on his first visit to Japan in 1954. The following year, he gave a successful debut as a soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Following that, his extensive concert engagements took him all across Japan, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Soviet Union and the USA. His appearances included performances under the baton of prestigious conductors such as Otmar Suitner, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sergiu Celibidache, Jeffrey Tate and Herbert Blomstedt, with orchestras such as Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Dresden Staatskapelle, with chamber ensembles such as Borodin, Wien Musikverein, Artis String Quartets among others.
In the recording scene, Takahiro Sonoda recorded the Forty-Eight Well-Tempered Clavier twice, complete L.v. Beethoven Piano Sonatas trice, the complete Arnold Schoenberg piano works, and various works by Chopin, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms for which have all been very highly acclaimed and received. Between 1998 and 2000, he has also recorded an all L.v. Beethoven Piano Concertos with Kyushu Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Heiichiro Oyama, and later the complete L.v. Beethoven Violin Sonatas with violinist Yasushi Toyoshima.
As an adjudicator, Takahiro Sonoda was very popular and his invitations have come from Rubinstein, Geneva, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Munich, Queen Elisabeth, Busoni and Japan International Competitions. In 1993, he was the head of the jury at the Munich International Competition. Since 1985, Takahiro Sonoda Piano Competition had been taking place in Oita Prefecture in Japan.
In 1981, Takahiro Sonoda was appointed to be the Member of Japan Art Academy. Other prestigious awards he has received include the Japan Record Academy Award for his recording of L.v. Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata in 1996, and the Suntory Music Award in 1997.