As the embodiment of musicality, violinist Kyoko Takezawa electrifies audiences with a richness of playing, a virtuosic confidence of feeling, and a fiery intensity that establishes her as one of today’s foremost violinists. Ms. Takezawa’s interpretive insight and indisputable talent have made her a sought-after soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
Ms. Takezawa has performed as soloist with such prominent ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Cleveland, Baltimore, Saint Louis, Houston, Toronto, Dallas, Montreal, Detroit, and Cincinnati. Abroad, she has been heard with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the London Symphony, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestra National de Radio France, Lyon, and Nice, the NHK Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, and the New Japan Philharmonic. She has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, and Sir Andrew Davis. She has performed at major venues around the world, notably Carnegie Hall in New York; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; London’s BBC Proms; Musikverain in Vienna; and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Highlights of Ms. Takezawa’s 2010-2011 season included performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the Philharmonia Orchestra for their Spain tour. In 2009-2010 season, she performed with the Chicago Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She gave a recital tour in seven cities in Japan with Itamar Golan, which was a part of three year project celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut. In past seasons, she performed with the Vancouver Symphony; the West Australian Symphony; the Amarillo Symphony; in Finland with the Kymi Sinfonietta; in Japan with the NHK Symphony, Kanagawa Philharmonic, Osaka Century Orchestra, and Japan Philharmonic; and in North America with the St. Louis, Tucson, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Toronto, and Seattle Symphonies. She also performed with the China Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic, Singapore, Guangzhou, Nagoya, and Osaka Symphonies in Asia, Denmark’s Aarhus Symphony, France’s Orchestre National de Lille, and in Manchester, UK with the Hallé Orchestra. She also appeared as the feature soloist on the Hamburg NDR Symphony tour of Japan.
A highly accomplished chamber music performer, Ms. Takezawa has participated in the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, and the Casals Festival in Prades. Also she has been a regular guest for the La Folle Journee Festival in Japan. Her chamber music performances have drawn high praise, and as co-director of the Suntory Festival Soloists of Suntory Hall in Tokyo, she has collaborated with the late Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Joseph Suk, and many other distinguished artists. Ms. Takezawa was also recently invited to serve as a juror at the competition.
A prolific recording artist, Ms. Takezawa has just released her most recent CD on which she performed all Brahms’s Violin Sonatas with pianist Itamar Golan (Sony Music Japan). Other recordings are heard on BMG’s RCA Victor Red Seal label, a recital CD entitled Romanza on which she performed short pieces, performances of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, op. 14, by Samuel Barber with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Brahms and Elgar Violin Concerti with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Violin Concerto no. 2 by Bartók with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony; and the Mendelssohn Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 with Klaus Peter Flor and the Bamberg Symphony. Ms. Takezawa’s CD of French violin sonatas was selected as one of the best recordings of 1993 by Stereo Review.
Ms. Takezawa has numerous television credits include ‘Concerto!’ the program on which she performed Bartok’s second Violin Concerto guided by Dudley Moore on BBC channel 4, the morning show by A&E, and a two hour documentary program by TV Aichi in Japan.
Ms. Takezawa began violin studies at the age of 3, and at 7 she toured the United States, Canada, and Switzerland as a member of the Suzuki Method Association. 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, with whom Ms. Takezawa continued to study at The Juilliard School until graduating in 1989. In 1986 she was awarded the Gold Medal at the Second Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. As an educator she is on the faculty of Toho Music School in Japan and served as a jury member for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the Menuhin Competition. Most recently, she received the prestigious Idemitsu Award for outstanding musicianship and the Aichi Art Cultural Award. Ms. Takezawa plays the Antonio Stradivarius “Viotti” (1704) violin, provided on loan to her by the nonprofit organization Yellow Angel.