Japanese conductor living in Paris, born in Osaka in a family of artists, Kanako ABE got in touch with music at a very early age.
After having obtained the diploma in composition in Tokyo and then 7 prizes at Paris Conservatoire (analysis, harmony,counterpoint, fuga, accompaniment, orchestration, conducting), Kanako Abe begins her career first as a pianist. Her recording of piano works by Toru Takemitsu(2002) was particulary welcomed by critics.
Since her debut as a conductor in 2003, she is regularly invited to conduct the contemporary works performed by the Ensemble L’Itinéraire, Ensemble Zellig, The Smash Ensemble(Spain), Festival Octobre en Normandie, Venezia Biennnale Festival, Festival GMEM (Marseille), Festival Controtempo in Villa Medici(Roma), Festival Musica de Strasbourg.
In 2005 she founded with the composer Yann Robin the french «Ensemble Multilatérale», a chamber orchestra for contemporary music where she is currently music director.
She has already made more than 80 world premieres in close collaboration with several composers including Martin Matalon, Jonathan Harvey, Michaël Lévinas and Régis Campo. Her discography includes four CDs monographic Régis Campo(1999, 2002, 2004, 2014) and a disc / DVD monographic Colin Roche.
In 2012, a Radio Opera composed by Sebastian Rivas recorded under her conducting won the PRIX ITALIA.
While attending to her aesthetic interest to different style of music, she conducts the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava(Czech Republic), Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre d’Auvergne, Orchestre Régional Bayonne-Côte Basque, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Orchestre Philharmonic de Nice, Orchestre National de Lille, Festival Orchestra of Mont de la Madeleine, Paris Conservatoire Student Orchestra, Amor Philharmonic Orchestra(Korea), Romanian National Radio Orchestra(Romania).
Lover of opera art since her childhood, she began her activities in this area with multiple experiences as rehearsal pianist, chorus director, opera coach with the Choir of Orchestre de Paris, Les Jeunes Choeurs de Paris etc.
She was an assistant conductor at the Opera National / Orchestre National de Montpellier in 2008-2009 (Aïda, The Bluebeard’s castle, Falstaff, Faust, Zauberflöte...), for the «Atelier Lyrique» at Paris Concervatoire (Orphée aux enfers -2004), Théâtre du Châtelet (Zauberflölte -2009), Rhin National Opéra (Macbeth -2010), Zürich opernhaus (Gesualdo -2010).
Kanako Abe has worked with many conductors and stage directors as Jerzy Semkow, Lawrence Foster, Enrique Mazzola, Alain Altinoglu, Friedemann Layer, Yutaka Sado, René Koering, Jean-Paul Scarpitta, Francisco Negrin, Moshe Leiser, Patrice Caurier.
In 2013 the Italian conductor Fabio Luisi proposed her a post of assistant conductor at the Festival della Valle d'Itria for the summer 2014.
In recent years, she gave concerts in France, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Korea, Romania, Indonesia and frequently in Japan.
She organized and conducted in April / December 2011 and in March 2012 at UNESCO, the charity concert for the victims of Earthquake and Tsunami in Tôhoku, sponsored by Japanese Embassy.
Since 2013, Kanako Abe is President of French-Japanese Association of Contemporary Music.