Kurihara Issei participated in the Orpheus Music Festival (later called the Haydon Music Festival) in Vienna, Austria when he was in the second grade of junior high school. He studied at Tokyo University of the Arts after completing its attached high school. While a student, Kurihara participated in an exchange concert with Yonsei University together with his university's faculty. He graduated from university with top honors and then studied with Boris Kuschnir in Austria. Since last year Kurihara has been studying at Toho Gakuen Graduate School, receiving the Munetsugu Tokuji scholarship. In the meantime, he performed in Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Poland, Russia, New York, China and Korea.
Kurihara has performed with many orchestras, such as the Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra, Tokyo under the baton of Yamashita Kazufumi, Vienna Camerata Orphica with Francis Pierre Deschamps, Romania Brasov Philharmonic Orchestra with Nataliia Ponomarchuk, National Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Bashkortostan with Mihhail Gerts, and Arad State Philharmonic Orchestra with Kanno Koichiro. This year he will perform with the Wieniawski Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland and Transylvania Chamber Orchestra in Romania.
Kurihara won Second Prize (top prize) at the International Solo Violin Competition in Spain, First Prize at the Beethoven International Violin Competition in Austria, First Prize and Grand-Prix of all the divisions at the Naleczow International Violin Competition in Poland. He won First Prize and Grand-Prix at the Gifu International Violin Competition in Japan. Kurihara won Second Prize (top prize) and four special prizes at the Lipizer International Violin Competition in Italy, Third Prize at the Violin Competition Vladimir Spivakov in Russia where he was given a violin by Spivakov. Last year he won First Prize at the Tadeusz Wro?ski Solo Violin Competition which is held every five years at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music) in Poland, and First Prize and Grand-Prix at the EUROASIA International Competition. In Japan Kurihara won First Prize at the Japan Player's Competition, as well as the Cultural and Education Ministry's Award and the Mainichi Newspaper Award.
As violist, he has performed at the Brasov Chamber Music Festival in Romania, the Ostwest Music Festival in Austria, Vienna-Higasikawa Music Festival and YBP Music Festival where his performances were highly rated.
Kurihara has studied under Umezu Namiko and Shimizu Takashi.