Reiko WATANABE, violinist
Tokyo-born Reiko Watanabe, widely praised for her brilliant technique and expressive playing, was at 15 the youngest grand prize winner in the history of Music Competition of Japan. Since then she went on to capture top honors at several other prestigious international competitions, including Paganini, G.B.Viotti, resulting in engagements throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. She obtained the bachelor's and master's degrees, as a student of J, Fuchs at The Juilliard School, studied chamber music with S. Rose, J. Lateiner, F. Galimir, and took masterclasses of N. Milstein and J. Gingold. After Juilliard, she studied with I. Stern.
American appearances include performances with National Symphony Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony and St. Louis Symphony among many others. She also performed with European orchestras including Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Orchestra Philharmonic de Radio France, Dresden Staatskapelle, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic, Tonkunstler Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic and St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Besides her activities in Japan, she frequently appeared in Asia, including recitals in Taiwan, concerto appearances in China with Hong Kong Philharmonic and Wuhan Symphony and "Japan Art Week" in Singapore.
Reiko Watanabe actively performs works of contemporary composers. She received high acclaim for her playing of Tokuhide Niimi's six violin pieces in one evening in Tokyo and also premiered his 2nd violin concerto with Sendai Philharmonic. Her interest to collaborate with ballet and contemporary dance groups led her to two performances with "Noism" at Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 2012.
As a recording artist, her debut album was the live recording of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto and his rarely performed Chamber Concerto for Violin, Piano and 13 Winds, with Dresden Staatskapelle and the late Giuseppe Sinopoli on Teldec label. Since then, she regularly released recordings under Warner Music, Camerata Tokyo, Avex Classics and Fontec labels.
Besides her busy concert appearances, in 2004, started a series of lectures in English on "Music Experience Through Listening" at Akita International University as a select professor.
In 2018, The Second Eurasian Women’s Forum, an international conference held in St. Petersburg, Russia, selected her as one of 13 outstanding women professionals, particularly for her continuous contribution to arts.
Official website: http://www.reikowatanabe.com