Winner of the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition and the youngest first-prize recipient in the history of the competition, violinist AKIKO SUWANAI has established an international career as soloist and recitalist performing in the major cities of Asia, Europe and the Americas.
During the 1999/2000 season, Suwanai appears with the Orchestre National de France under Myung-Whun Chung, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniele Gatti, and the Orchestre de Lyon under Emmanuel Krivine. She also collaborates with Krivine in a tour of Europe with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Suwanai will make her debut this season at the Lucerne Music Festival as well as at the Berlin Festival Weeks. She will also tour Japan performing the Penderecki Violin Concerto No. 2 under the baton of the composer. In North America, Suwanai will appear with, among others, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. In the Fall of 1999, Philips released Suwanai’s third recording, a collection of slavonic pieces for violin and piano performed with Boris Berezovsky.
Some of the highlights of the 1998/99 season were tours of Japan with the National Symphony and Leonard Slatkin, as well as with the Montreal Symphony under Charles Dutoit. Since beginning her career in 1990, Akiko Suwanai has collaborated with such renowned conductors as Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Seiji Ozawa, Mikhail Pletnev, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Yvgeny Svetlanov, and Yuri Temirkanov.
Following her Boston Symphony debut in April 1996 with Seiji Ozawa, she again appeared with the orchestra and Maestro Ozawa at Carnegie Hall in April 1997. Highlights of recent seasons in this country include performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony, among others.
She has also been a guest at the Ravinia, Marlboro, and Rheingau Music Festivals. Internationally, Akiko Suwanai has toured South America and performed in recital at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and she has appeared with leading orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, the Czech Philharmonic, the Bamberg Symphony, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Her debut recording, released by Philips Classics in 1997, features Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Scottish Fantasy with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields led by Sir Neville Marriner. Miss Suwanai continues to garner critical acclaim with the release of Souvenir (Philips Classics, 1998), a recital recording of works by Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, Szymanowski, and Rachmaninoff. Her performance at the Tchaikovsky Competition: The Winner’s Gala, has also been released by Teldec Classics.
Distinguished by numerous awards, Akiko Suwanai has been a winner at the International Paganini Violin Competition, the International Japan Competition, and the Queen Elizabeth International Competition among others, as the youngest entrant.
Suwanai studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music with Toshiya Eto, then at the Juilliard School and Columbia University with Dorothy DeLay and Cho-Liang Lin, as well as the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin with Uwe-Martin Haiberg.
The violin played by Akiko Suwanai was made by Antonio Stradivari in 1727. This instrument is owned by Suntory Limited, Japan and lent to Miss Suwanai.