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Born in Tokyo in 1984, Shunske Sato actively concertizes on both modern and baroque violin, and is one of the most acclaimed and versatile musicians of his generation.
Shunske began the violin at the age of two. Immigrating to America with his parents two years later, he studied with Chin Kim before coming under the tutelage of Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School of New York. In 2003, Shunske moved to Paris to pursue his modern violin studies with Gérard Poulet, and has been living in Munich since 2009 to study baroque violin under Mary Utiger at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.
As a baroque violinist, Shunske servers as concertmaster of both Concerto Köln and the Netherlands Bach Society, and has appeared as soloist with the Orchestra Libera Classica in Japan, Berliner Lautten Compagney, and in 2011 gave the first performance in recent times of Paganini’s second violin concerto on historical instruments with the Academy of Ancient Music. Chamber music plays a regular role in Shunske’s activities, with partners such as Christine Schornsheim, Hidemi Suzuki and Richard Egarr.
On the modern violin, Shunske has appeared as soloist with all the major orchestras in Japan, as well as with leading European orchestras including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia. Since his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 10, he has performed with renowned American orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Shunske gained further recognition as a baroque violinist after winning second prize as well as the audience prize at the 17th International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition Leipzig in 2010. He is also the recipient of the awards such as the Idemitsu Award (a distinction awarded to prominent, internationally active Japanese musicians) and the S & R Washington Award.
Shunske has a wide-ranging discography including of Eugène Ysaÿe's Six Sonatas for solo violin, Edvard Grieg’s complete sonatas for violin and piano – which was awarded the Grand Prize by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan – and, most recently, Telemann’s 12 Fantasias for solo violin. In addition, Shunske is the first violinist ever to record Niccolò Paganini’s Twenty-Four Caprices for solo violin (Universal Classics Japan label. 2009) from the perspective of historically informed performance practice, using gut strings and a historical bow.