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, the 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 also 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, the Musikverein in Vienna and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
In recent seasons, Ms. Takezawa has made her debut appearances with Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany, Mito Chamber Orchestra in Japan, Spring Festival in Korea, Music in the Vineyard Festival, Santa Fe Festival, Music @ Menlo Festival and Saratoga Spring Festival in the U.S. Also she was a jury member for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Concours international Marguerite-Long-Jacques-Thibaud, Sendai International Competition and the International Wieniawski Violin Competition.
In past seasons, she has performed with the Vancouver Symphony, the West Australian Symphony, the Kymi Sinfonietta in Finland, the NHK Symphony, Kanagawa Philharmonic, Osaka Century Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic. In North America she performed with the Amarillo, 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, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Denmark’s Aarhus Symphony, France’s Orchestre National de Lille, and Manchester’s Halle 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, the Casals Festival and the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. She has been a regular guest for the La Folle Journée Festival in Japan. Ms. Takezawa’s 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 Yo-Yo Ma, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Joseph Suk, the late Isaac Stern and many other distinguished artists.
A prolific recording artist, she has just released her most recent recording of the Brahms Violin Sonatas with pianist Itamar Golan by Sony Music Japan. Other recordings are heard on BMG’s RCA Victor Red Seal label, a recital CD titled Romanza, on which she performed short pieces; the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14, by Samuel Barber with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; the Brahms Violin Concerto and the Elgar Violin Concerto with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Bartók with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony; and the Mendelssohn Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 with Claus Peter Flor and the Bamberg Symphony. Ms. Takezawa’s recording of French violin sonatas was selected as one of the best recordings of 1993 by Stereo Review.
Ms. Takezawa has numerous television credits including “Concerto!”, the program on which she performed Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto guided by Dudley Moore on the 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 three and at seven 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 the Toho Music School in Japan and served as a jury for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the Menuhin Competition. Most recently, she received the prestigious Idemitsu Award for outstanding musicianship and Aichi Art Cultural Award.