We are saddened to share news of the passing of CCM Professor Emeritus Eiji Hashimoto, Professor of Harpsichord and Harpsichordist-in-Residence at CCM from 1968 to 2001. Hashimoto passed away on Jan. 14, 2021, at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Hashimoto; his three children: Christine (Kirk) Merritt, Ken (Allison Dubinski) Hashimoto, and Erica Hashimoto; and five granddaughters: Katherine and Elizabeth Merritt, Scarlette and Sabina Hashimoto, and Naomi Hashimoto. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.
An internationally renowned concert artist and scholar of baroque music, Hashimoto performed with critical acclaim throughout the United States and around the world. As a soloist, he dazzled audiences in more than 50 international tours and released numerous CDs. His own editions of 18th-century keyboard music remain highly regarded.
Born in Tokyo in 1931, Hashimoto began musical training as a child and graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music with a major in organ in 1955. He came to the US under a Fulbright study grant to pursue graduate studies in musicology and composition at the University of Chicago (Master of Arts in 1959) and then in harpsichord at the Yale University School of Music (Master of Music in 1962) under Ralph Kirkpatrick.
Upon returning to Japan, Hashimoto taught at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo until he was invited by the French government to spend six months in France doing research in 1967. During his subsequent US tour, he performed in Cincinnati, which led to an invitation to teach at CCM beginning in 1968.
Hashimoto maintained an active performance and recording schedule throughout his 33-year long tenure at CCM. During this time he performed with many CCM ensembles, spent several summers conducting for CCM’s Opera Theatre of Lucca program in Italy, and also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and at the May Festival.
Hashimoto also formed CCM’s Ensemble for Eighteenth Century Music, recording with the ensemble and taking it on several tours, including to Japan in 1988, to Mexico in 1993, and to many cities across the US. The El Porvenir newspaper in Monterrey, Mexico, declared “They came, they played and they conquered” following Hashimoto’s November 1993 performance with CCM’s Ensemble for Eighteenth Century Music. In 2001, Hashimoto’s then-colleague (and now emeriti faculty member) Clare Callahan told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Eiji is our Baroque touchstone … and his dedicated work with the Eighteenth Century Orchestra gave students and faculty alike a sense of the fun people had with music of that time.”
In 1978 and 1981, Hashimoto received the Prize of Excellence from the Japanese government for his recitals in Tokyo. In 1984, he received UC’s coveted Rieveschl Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Works. He was a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council’s solo artist grant, was also selected for the 1988-89 Arts Midwest Performing Arts Touring Program and was awarded the “Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels,” the highest honor awarded by the state of Kentucky for special achievements, by the governor of Kentucky in 1990. He was twice awarded research grants by the Rockefeller Foundation for scholarly residencies in Bellagio, Italy.
Please join us in sending your thoughts, prayers and condolences to Eiji’s family and friends. You can learn more about Eiji’s career by visiting Janelle Gelfand’s “Janelle’s Notes” blog. Tributes can be shared through the Neidhard-Young Funeral Home website. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Eiji influenced and inspired multiple generations of students, colleagues and music lovers during his three decades at CCM. He will be deeply missed.