As a student of Eleanor Allen, Mr. Lewis began his violin studies at the age of four, and participated in the Ottawa Suzuki Strings program under the direction of his mother, Alice Joy Lewis. He later studied with Tiberius Klausner, and twice traveled to Japan where he studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School where he was a student of Dorothy DeLay, Masao Kawasaki, and Hyo Kang. Highly committed and dedicated to teaching young artists, Mr. Lewis has quickly emerged as one of the leading violin teachers of his generation. He holds the David and Mary Winton Green Chair in String Performance and Pedagogy at UT where he is Professor of Violin. He is also Artistic Director of the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City, concertmaster of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Artistic Director of the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program in Kansas, a founding member of the Texas Piano Quartet, and Artistic Director of the Starling Distinguished Violinist Series at the Butler School of Music. This past year, Mr. Lewis finished his 2nd year in residency at the Yale School of Music as the Class of ’57 Visiting Professor in Music.
Mr. Lewis performs on a Gand Freres violin, made in Paris in 1863. Additional information may be found at www.brianlewisviolin.com
Kyoko Takezawa won the Gold Medal at the Second Quadrennial
International Violin Competition in Indianapolis in 1986, and since has performed worldwide with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, NDR Symphony, NHK Symphony. She has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Zinman, Alan Gilbert, David Robertson, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski and Sir Andrew Davis. She has given recitals at major venues internationally and participated at festivals in Aspen, Ravinia, La Jolla, BBC Proms and Lucerne Music Festival. Most recently, her new CD of the Brahms Complete Violin Sonatas with Itamar Golan has been released by Sony.
Ms. Takezawa began violin studies at the age of 3 under Shoichi Yamamura and at 7 toured the United States, Canada and Switzerland as a member of the Suzuki Method Association. She studied with Kenji Kobayashi at the Toho Music School. In 1982 she placed first in the 51st Annual Japan Music Competition, and at 17 she entered the Aspen Music School to study with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki, whom she continued to study with at The Juilliard School until graduating in 1989. She lives in Paris.
Using the Suzuki Method, she began studying violin at the age of 3 and a half. At age 15 she won the 1st prize in the Japan Music Competition. In 1984 she won the highest prize in the Viotti International Competition. In 1985 she enrolled in the undergraduate program at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and in 1992, completed the master’s degree as well. Ever since winning the highest award at the Paganini International Competition held in Genoa in 1986, she has played extensively with prominent orchestras around the world, has given many recitals and has taken part in music festivals in all continents. Since 2004 she has been appointed as Select Professor at Akita International University to teach in English classical music and performances. In 2005, in recognition of her accomplishment, she was awarded the Exxon-Mobil Music Prize. She continues to reside in New York.
Yasuko Ohtani began studying violin at age 3 with the Suzuki Method and was a member of the first overseas Suzuki Ten Children Concert Tour. After graduating from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, she completed the doctoral course at the university’s graduate school.
She received first prize in the All Japan Student Music Concours and second prize in the Henryk Szeryng Japan Visit Commemorative Competition.
Ms. Ohtani has held numerous recitals and performed with major orchestras as a soloist in Japan and overseas in Vienna, Rome, Cologne, and Berlin, to name a few.
She has appeared in a variety of media, including over 330 performances for the Asahi Television broadcast “ Untitled Concert ”. Her talents cover a wide range from chamber music to modern music. She formed the Quàttro Piaceri String Quartet in 1995, which received the distinguished award for National Arts Festival from the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2010. She is presently the solo concertmaster for the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and holds positions as instructor at the Tokyo University of the Arts affiliated High School, Professor at the Tokyo College of Music, Director of the Japan Symphony Foundation and has been appointed the Cultural Ambassador for Kawasaki City.
Yoshiko Kawamoto began studying violin with the Suzuki Method when she was 3. She entered Toho Gakuen School of Music University and in 1989, her quartet, Y(igrek) quartet won first prize in the Tokyo International Competition, chamber music division.
In 1991, Ms. Kawamoto changed her instrument to viola when she joined the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Then in 1992, she won the highest prize (2nd prize without 1st prize winner) at the Geneva Competition, viola division.
The grand scale of her viola performances has received much public attention, and her energy in expanding the repertoire for viola as well as performing chamber music with various artists lead to being awarded the Nippon Steel Music Award for Young Artists.
In 1999, she became the principal viola player for the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Kawamoto has been a member of the Kyoto Alti String Quartet since 1998 and the AOI Residence Quartet since 2001. At present, she actively performs solo and chamber music worldwide.
Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi was born in Tokyo and had his early cello lessons from Hideo Saito. He made his debut with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra when he was just 12 years old. He subsequently performed with Japan's leading orchestras and won prizes at many important competitions, including the most significant Japanese competition, the Mainichi Music Competition. In 1963 he won the International Pablo Casals Competition in Budapest. A Fulbright Foundation scholarship gave him an opportunity to study with Janos Starker at Indiana University in Bloomington (USA).
Over the years, audiences have been able to experience Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi in concert with, for example, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic and many other orchestras.
Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi taught at Western Ontario University, Toho University and at the University of Illinois before being appointed a faculty member at Indiana University in 1988. He gives master classes in Asia, Europe and the USA and is regularly invited to serve on the jury of renowned international music competitions. Some of his CD recordings have been released on the Sony label. The Suntory Award was conferred on Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi for his key role in Japanese musical life. A particular honour was for him to be presented the award of the National Academy of Arts by the Japanese Emperor.
Dai Miyata was born in 1986, in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture and began studying cello when he was 3 with the Suzuki Method. From the age of 9, he continued to place first in the many competitions he entered.
Major awards and accomplishments:
The 9th Rostropovich Cello Competition, Grand Prix (2009)
- the first Japanese national to win this prestigious competition
The 20th Idemitsu Music Prize (2010)
The 6th Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award
The 13th Hotel Okura Music Prize
The 53rd Ezoe Scholarship Association (Ezoe Ikueikai) – scholarship recipient
The Rohm Music Foundation Scholarship – scholarship recipient
Tochigi Prefecture Governor Prize, Cultural Division
- the first recipient of this prize, as well as other prefectural awards
Given honorary title “Ambassador of the Future for Tochigi” (Mirai Taishi)
Miyata was an honor student when studying at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, and graduated from the Soloist Diploma Course at the top of his class. In 2009, he graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve.
He has studied cello with Yutaka Miyata and Sumiko Kurata, and chamber music with the Tokyo Quartet, Sadao Harada, Koichiro Harada, Tomoko Kato, Nobuko Imai, Richard Young and Gabor Takacs-Nagy. At present, he studies cello with Frans Helmerson at the Kronberg Academy.
Miyata is active worldwide performing solo, chamber music and concertos. He has worked with Lynn Harrell, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet and notable Japanese artists and orchestras. He has been invited to play in numerous music festivals in Europe: the Beethovenfest, the Dresden Music Festival and the Menton Music Festival to name a few, where his performances have been highly acclaimed.
In 2011, he gave a concert tour in commemoration of his first CD release, appropriately named “Dai First”. In January 2012, Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan were in attendance at Miyata’s solo performance with the Mito Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Seiji Ozawa.
Takeaki Miyamae is a flutist with unique and unconventional career backgrounds. He began his flute studies at age of nine with Suzuki Flute Method founder, Toshio Takahashi. At the age of eleven he attended the legendary flutist Marcel Moyse’s masterclass in 1977 and thereafter he took private lessons at Marcel Moyse’s home in the U.S. He toured in the U.S. and Canada as a Suzuki Flute demonstrator with Toshio Takahashi and contributed to establish Suzuki Flute schools in North America. He put his music activities on hold after entering Yokohama City University School of Medicine, earned a medical doctor degree and Ph.D in Medicine and received Medical Research Encouragement Award of Yokohama City University Medical Association. In 2001 he resumed his professional music career, and since then he has maintained double professions - flutist and medical researcher. He received awards and prizes of music competitions in the U.S. and Europe including First Prize of the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music 2011 and made his debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York as part of the winners’ recital. He has conducted professional activities as a performer and an instructor in Japan and the U.S. Currently he is a faculty member of the Westmoreland Suzuki School of Music in Pennsylvania, a guest faculty of the Suzuki Association of Greater Washington Area (SAGWA) Flute Institute, a visiting instructor of the International Academy of the Suzuki Method in Matsumoto, Japan, and Sr. Research Associate of Translational Neuroscience Program, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Photo by Kazuya AkashiMasaya Tanaka was born in Fukuoka, Japan. He began to play piano when he was three, learning from his mother, a Suzuki Method teacher. At fifteen, he moved to Moscow for further studies.
While studying Russian at Moscow University, he studied piano under Professor Pavel Nersesian at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, and graduated in 2003, receiving the Krasniy diploma for highest achievement.
Subsequently, he was the recipient of a scholarship from Rohm Music Foundation and studied under Professor Mikhail Voskresensky at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire postgraduate school, where he graduated in 2007.
Competitions and Awards
Italy - Ibla International Piano Competition, 1st Prize (1997)
Russia - Prokofiev International Piano Competition, Prize winner (1999)
Russia - Balakirev International Piano Competition, 2nd Prize (2004)
France -11th Scriabin International Piano Competition, 1st Prize with Special Commendation from the Jury (2011)
Japan - 6th Tokyo Art Center Memorial Piano Competition, Gold Medal (2011)
France -13th International Piano Competition d’Ile-de-France, 3rd Prize (2011)
Italy - 21st International Piano and Orchestra Competition “Citta di Cantu”,
1st Prize and Liszt Prize (2011)
Italy - Busoni International Piano Competition, Diploma
Portugal - Porto International Piano Competition, Diploma and other awards
Russia - Invited to play at the “Young Stars Festival”, performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with the Samara Symphony Orchestra
Invited to play at the “Youth Rachmaninov Music Festival” and “Ukraine International Music Festival”, solo recitals
United States - Solo recital in New York (Carnegie, Weill Hall)
He has also performed in Italy, Canada, Spain, Russia, and Japan.
Since its release in 2008, Masaya Tanaka's 'The Complete Piano Works of Prokofiev' has received excellent reviews from music critics.