KYOKO TAKEZAWA is among the foremost violin virtuosos of her generation. Renowned for her emotional power, musical sensitivity, flawless technique and a tone remarkable for its haunting beauty, she is acclaimed internationally as orchestral soloist, chamber musician, recital and recording artist.
Ms. Takezawa has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including in North America, the New Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; and in Europe, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Hallé Orchestra, the Academia St Cecilia in Rome, the London Symphony Orchestra. In her native Japan Ms. Takezawa has appeared with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic. She has collaborated with some of the most distinguished conductors of our time, including Seiji Ozawa, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin and Andrew Davis, and performed at major venues world-wide, notably Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Centre in Washington, the Royal Festival Hall in London and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. She has performed at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and the Aspen Nagano Festival in Japan. Her Paris orchestra debut in 1996 was an unqualified success.
A prolific recording artist, Ms. Takezawa may be heard exclusively on BMG’s RCA Victor Red Seal Label. Her highly acclaimed recordings include the Samuel Barber Violin Concerto with Leonard Slatkin the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Mendelssohn’s Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 with Klaus Peter Flor and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; the Bartok’s Concerto No. 2 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra; Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Sir Colin Davis and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; and the Tchaikovsky Concerto and Prokofiev Concerto No 2 with Vladimir Fedoseyev and the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. Her performance of the Bartok concerto is also featured in "Concerto!", an internationally broadcast television series presented by Dudley Moore and is currently available on videotape and laser disc. Ms. Takezawa’s recital disc of French violin sonatas was selected as one of the best recordings of 1993 by Stereo Review.
Ms. Takezawa ‘s engagements last season took her to many countries. She performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas, the London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Colin Davis and made her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cristoph Eschenbach. In Europe she had performances in Spain, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy where she gave a series of recital and performed with the Academia St Cecilia and Wolfgang Sawallisch. She also had engagements with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottisch National Orchestra and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Davis at the Proms. Ms. Takezawa also performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra at Suntory Hall.
Ms. Takezawa’s chamber music performances have drawn high praise. As co-director of the Suntory Festival Soloists of Suntory Hall in Tokyo, she has collaborated with Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Wolfgang Sawallisch (as pianist), Josef Suk and other distinguished artists.
Ms. Takezawa began studying the violin 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 Ms. Takezawa won first place in the 51st Annual Japan Music Competition and, at 16, entered the Aspen Music School to study with Dorothy DeLay, the celebrated violin pedagogue. She continued her studies with Miss DeLay at the Juilliard School, graduating in 1989. In 1986 she won the Gold Medal at the Second Quadriennal International Violin Competition in Indianapolis and, most recently, received the prestigious Idemitsu Award for outstanding musicianship.
Ms. Takezawa, who performs on the "Hammer" Stradivarius dated 1707, lives in New York.