Takuma Itoh spent his early childhood in Japan before moving to Northern California where he grew up. His music has been described as “brashly youthful and fresh” (New York Times). Featured amongst one of “100 Composers Under 40” on NPR Music and WQXR, he has been the recipient of such awards and commissions as: the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Music Alive: New Partnerships grant with the Tucson Symphony, the Barlow Endowment, the Chamber Music America Classical Commission, the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize, six ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the Leo Kaplan Award, the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, the Symphony in C Young Composer Competition, the New York Youth Symphony First Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and the Renée B Fisher Foundation.
In 2018, Itoh was instrumental in creating an innovative education program, Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds, which brought over 8,000 young students to hear new orchestral compositions alongside original animations while raising awareness of Hawaii’s many endangered forest bird species.
Itoh’s music has been performed by the Albany Symphony, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Ensemble Échappé, Ossia New Music, the New York Youth Symphony, Symphony in C, the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), the Shanghai Quartet, the St. Lawrence Quartet, the Cassatt Quartet, the Momenta Quartet, Invoke Quartet, Sara Davis Buechner, Jeffrey Jacob, Joseph Lin, Ignace Jang, Syzygy Ensemble (Australia), H2 Quartet, Kyo-Shin-An Arts, the Music from Copland House, the Varied Trio, Kojiro Umezaki, HUB New Music Ensemble, Duo Yumeno, Post-Haste Reed Duo, Pro Musica Nipponia, and Linda Chatterton. In addition, his works can be heard on Albany and Blue Griffin Records, and is published by Theodore Presser, Resolute Music, and Murphy Music Press. In 2015, Itoh scored the music for the short film “Salesi” directed by Garin Nugroho and Vilsoni Hereniko that was featured at the Honolulu Film Festival.
Itoh has been a fellow at the Mizzou International Composers Festival, Cabrillo Composer Workshop, Wellesley Composers Conference, Copland House CULTIVATE, Pacific Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival. He holds degrees from Cornell University, University of Michigan, and Rice University. His past teachers include Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Shih-Hui Chen, Anthony Brandt, Pierre Jalbert, and Karim Al-Zand.
Since 2012, Itoh has been teaching at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa where he serves as an Associate Professor of Music.