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Conductor/arranger SUZIE KATAYAMA is no stranger to the Hollywood Bowl, having performed here often as a cellist in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. She conducted on Bright Eyes' latest recording, which was a natural outgrowth of her work with many other cutting-edge musicians, such as Björk, Incubus, Badly Drawn Boy, Beck, kd lang, and Alanis Morisette.
Katayama began her musical career as an accordionist, performing under the auspices of community concerts and concerts abroad. A college advisor told her that she needed to learn a "real" instrument, so she went to her love of the cello and began "real" lessons. As a cellist, she performs on many recordings. Credits over the last few years include popular TV shows like Alias, Lost, and Desperate Housewives and the hit films Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Dreamgirls, and all of the Austin Powers films. She has played or conducted on such classic records as Prince's Purple Rain and Madonna's Ray of Light, as well as albums by superstars Aerosmith, Nirvana, Elton John, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Ben Folds, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Train, Josh Groban, and Celine Dion.
Still performing as an accordionist, Katayama joined Björk's 4-piece ensemble for the Icelandic singer's Post tour, and recently had one of her accordion compositions used in The Last King of Scotland. She also has appeared with Ute Lemper with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at this venue.
She has toured with Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, and Barbra Streisand, and was music director for Madonna's Ray of Light television appearances. She played on the 2004 Academy Awards broadcast with Annie Lennox, performing the Best Song winner, "Into the West," from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, as well as A Tribute to Heroes with Limp Bizkit and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls.
Her arranging and conducting credits include projects for Jon Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Sam Moore, Frank Sinatra, and upcoming albums from James Blunt and Ringo Starr.