November 18, 2016 (Fri)
Violinist Izumi Kamata’s performances have been lauded as “powerfully brimming with unfettered musicality” by the Hokkaido News, and “a perfect balance of boldness and quiet calm” by Friends of Music Magazine.
Ms. Kamata gained recognition in the international music scene by becoming a laureate of the 2nd Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition in Pamplona, Spain, where she was also awarded the audience prize. Other accomplishments include winning the Japan American Association Music Competition in New York, as well as being a prize winner at the Japan Chamber Music Competition in Tokyo.
She has appeared as soloist with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, New City Philharmonic Orchestra of Tokyo, the SeiryoPhilharmonic, Hokkaido Symphony Orchestra, and the MuroranOrchestra among others. She has performed solo recitals at such venues as Lincoln Center’s Paul Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York, New England Conservatory, and the Longy Music School in Boston. Her performances are frequently broadcast on national radio in Japan.
Izumi Kamata graduated from the Toho School of Music, and received an Honors Scholarship to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. She has also been mentored by Takeshi Kobayashi, Kenji Kobayashi, and Masao Kawasaki, as well as with the Juilliard and Tokyo String Quartets. She is invited regularly to perform as guest concertmaster with the Japan Philharmonic, Kioi Chamber Orchestra, and the New Orchestra of Washington. She is also this season’s Artist in Residence with the Ryuji Ueno Foundation in Washington DC.
Ryo Yanagitani has distinguished himself as one of Canada's most promising young concert artists. His most recent success includes winning the gold medal at the 10th San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he was also given special recognition for a performance of the complete Chopin Ballades. Among other honors, he is also the grand prize winner of the Hugo Kauder International Piano competition and a laureate of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, the Dr. Luis Sigall International Piano competition in Vina del Mar (Chile), and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.
Ryo has made concerto appearances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Moroccan Symphony Orchestra among others.
In addition to many solo recitals, he has been in demand as a chamber musician, performing in a wide range of settings, from the duo sonata repertoire to large ensembles. He is frequently invited as guest pianist to chamber music festivals across the US, in the capacity of both lecturer and pianist. His most recent collaboration with cellist Dai Miyata has resulted in a number of concert tours of Japan.
A recipient of many scholarships and awards, Ryo has been endowed twice by the Canadian Arts Council with a grant as an Emerging Artist, and is a recipient of the Arthur Foote Scholarship from the Harvard Musical Association. He was also recently awarded the Sony Foundation of America Career Grant through the Salon de Virtuosi of New York, and a Washington Award by the S&R Foundation of Washington DC. He has also been an artist-in-residence of the Maxwell Shepherd Fund of Connecticut. Ryo is also increasingly recognized not only as a performer but also as a pedagogue, and is frequently asked to adjudicate competitions and conduct masterclasses in North America and Asia. He has also recently released two solo CDs consisting of works by Chopin and Debussy, as well as a CD in collaboration with the cellist Dai Miyata.
Ryo Yanagitani received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music under Boris Berman, a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from the University of British Columbia under Doctor Henri-Paul Sicsic, and an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute under Sergei Babayan. He was an instructor for the Chamber Music Program at Yale, as well as a visiting Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for the 2011/2012 academic year. He currently holds the post of Artistic Director of the Ryuji Ueno Foundation.