Korg founder Tsutomu Katoh passes away

Tsutomu Katoh with one of Korg's many creations.
Tsutomu Katoh with one of Korg's many creations.

We were saddened to learn of the death of Korg founder and Chairman Tsutomu Katoh yesterday following a long battle with cancer.

As head of Korg, Katoh oversaw the launches of some truly groundbreaking products and his place in music technology history is assured. Only recently, his voice was sampled by Gorillaz on their single Doncamatic (All Played Out).

The news was broken by Korg President Seiki Kato in a letter which reads as follows:

Dear Sirs and Madams,

I would like to inform you that our founder and chairman Mr. Tsutomu Katoh passed away early this morning (March 15, 2011) after a long fight with cancer.

Since he founded Korg Inc. in 1963, Mr. Katoh has led our company with great talent, vision and leadership. He was loved and respected by all the employees, all Korg family members and made a huge contribution to the lives of countless musicians around the world.

Plans for a memorial service will follow very soon.

I would appreciate your prayers for him and hope he can rest peacefully now.


Seiki Kato
Korg Inc.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.