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Keiko Takano was born in Nagoya, Japan, and grew up in Tatsuno in Hyogo prefecture. She worked in the Tokyo advertising industry for several years, but then changed career, moving to London to study music at the Royal College of Music and the University of London. Her composition teachers were Edwin Roxburgh, Martin Butler, Philip Cashian and Peter Sander. She also studied piano with Susan Bradshaw and Kazuko Takemoto, and jazz piano with Peter Sander.
Her music has been performed by many instrumentalists in the UK, continental Europe, Japan and the USA, including members of the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra de Lille, cellist Adalbert Skocic and guitarist Carsten Radtke.
Her orchestral work La Petite Rhapsodie reached the finals of the 1998 Christoph Deltz Composition Competition, she was a Sound and Music shortlisted composer from 2006-2009, and her chamber work so early in the morning was selected for World Music Days Sweden performances in 2009. Another orchestral work, Shakunage no odori, written in memory of the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Fukushima prefecture, was performed by Akiko Ohtomo and Hokusai Chamber Orchestra in 2012 at a memorial concert for the disaster in London.
Keiko Takano has also composed original music for theatre productions such as Tokyo International Players' Richard II 'R3', and she was chorus master for Gin no Bashamichi - La route du l'argent pour le Chario for theatre company Gin no Bashamichi under the supervision of the Shochiku Company in Japan.