Masataka Hirano studied at the Tokyo University of the Arts. In 1995, he joined the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris, where he was unanimously awarded First Prizes in Saxophone, Chamber Music, and Improvisation. Masataka Hirano has participated in and won many different competitions, including the 7th Japan Wind and Percussion Competition and the 1st Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition in Bangkok in 2008.

He is the fi rst Japanese person to have ever won an international musical competition. Masataka Hirano is a versatile saxophonist whose styles vary from contemporary and classical music to improvisation and even jazz. He has performed at many festivals in France, Germany, and Spain. In 2000, he released his fi rst album, Millennium, devoted to contemporary music and improvisation. He has also performed with many renowned orchestras, as well as with famous jazz musicians. Masataka Hirano has been invited to appear on many Japanese television programmes and was acclaimed as a composer for his fi rst orchestral piece, Seven Tableaux, which was dedicated to Toshio Arimoto. This has since become the theme music for the programme Shinya No Ongakusai. Masataka Hirano teaches at the Tokyo University of the Arts, the Elisabeth University of Music, the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, the Tôhô College of Music, and the Habanera Academy.