Born in Tokyo and began to study the violin at the age of four. Graduated from the Julliard School with the Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance. He was a fellowship artist of the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists. He has studied with the late Hideki Oguni, Koichiro Harada, Takashi Shimizu, Masao Kawasaki, the late Dorothy DeLay, and Cho-Liang Lin.
Masaaki Tanokura has won prizes at a number of prestigious competitions, including the first prize at the 45th Japan Student Music Competition, the second place at the 64th Japan Music Competition, a semi-finalist at the Long-Thibaud International Violin Competition, the first place at the Nakamichi Violin Competition at the Aspen Music Festival, the second prize at the 4th Forval Scholarship Stradivarius Concours, and the first prize at the 6th Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition.
Masaaki Tanokura has performed at recitals in France, Denmark, the United States and Japan. He has also appeared with such orchestras as Japan Philharmonic Orchestra / Kazumasa Watanabe, NHK Symphony Dan Yu Orchestra / Naoto Otomo, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra / Yuzo Toyama, as well as Odense Symphony Orchestra under Jan Wagner, premiering Korngold Violin Concerto in Denmark.
Masaaki Tanokura is also active as a chamber musician and performs with outstanding musicians from both inside and outside Japan. Since May 2004 he has been the concertmaster of Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra.