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Kikuei Ikeda, violist, was born in Yokosuka, Japan. Mr. Ikeda studied violin at the Toho Academy of Music with Saburo Sumi and Josef Gingold, as well as chamber music and conducting with Hideo Saito. While in Japan, he performed as a soloist with the Yomiuri Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan and Tokyo Symphony orchestras, and toured across Europe as concertmaster of the Toho String Orchestra.
Mr. Ikeda came to the United States in 1971. He studied with Dorothy DeLay and members of the Juilliard String Quartet at The Juilliard School of Music, where he was a scholarship student. Mr. Ikeda was a prizewinner in the Mainichi, NHK and Haken competitions in Japan, the Washington International Competition for Strings in Washington, D.C., and the Vienna da Motta in Portugal. He has played the Mozart Violin Concerto with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, given recitals in Italy, New York and Tokyo, and has performed chamber music with numerous ensembles.
Mr. Ikeda had been the member of the Tokyo String Quartet since 1974 until they disbanded in July 2013. He has also served as a faculty member at the Yale School of Music since 1976. As a member of the Tokyo String Quartet, he has released more than 40 landmark recordings. A number of these recordings have earned such honors as the Grand Prix du Disque Montreux, "Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year" awards from both Stereo Review and Gramophone magazines, in addition to seven Grammy nominations. The Tokyo String Quartet has been featured on numerous television programs including "Sesame Street," "CBS Sunday Morning", PBS's "Great Performances," "CNN This Morning" and a national television broadcast from the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Quartet has also been highlighted on the soundtrack for the Sidney Lumet film Critical Care (1997), starring Kyra Sedgwick and James Spader.
Mr. Ikeda currently teaches at the Yale School of Music and New York University’s Steinhardt Department of Music.