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May 12, 2015
Described by Gramophone magazine as “a formidable musician, able to draw on huge reserves of stamina and the unflinching equal of anything thrown at her,” Sayaka Shoji regularly performs with the world’s leading conductors including Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, Paavo Järvi, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Antonio Pappano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
In the 2014/15 season Sayaka works with Leonard Slatkin and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the opening concert of the Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw. She returns to the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi), Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (Krzysztof Urbański) and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (Philippe Auguin) and a makes her debuts with the Trondheim Symfoniorkester (Han-Na Chang) and RTE National Orchestra (Alan Buribayev).
Recent engagements have included concerts with the Deutsche Kammerphiharmonie, BBC Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and Wiener Symphoniker. In 2014, Sayaka joined a tour with her long-time mentor and supporter, Yuri Temirkanov in Japan, Mexico and the US. She was the only non-Russian musician invited by Temirkanov to perform at his 70th and 75th birthday galas in St Petersburg.
Sayaka appears regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician alongside artists such as Joshua Bell, Vadim Repin, Steven Isserlis, Lang Lang, and Martin Fröst. Recent festival appearances have included the Verbier, Annecy, Ravenna, Prague Spring, Settimane Musicale di Chigiana, Beethovenfest Bonn, and the Stavanger Chamber Music festivals.
In recital, she regularly partners with pianist Gianluca Cascioli with whom she has recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas. She also performs with legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Their collaboration is documented in a live recording, to be released on CD in autumn 2014.
Sayaka Shoji has recorded a number of discs for Deutsche Grammophon and her latest CD features Prokofiev’s Violin Concertos with Yuri Temirkanov. She has also recorded solo works by Bach and Reger, as well as Shostakovich’s Violin Concertos for Mirare.
Sayaka Shoji has lived in Europe since 1998. She took First Prize at the 1999 Paganini Competition – the first Japanese and youngest artist ever to do so. She plays the 1729 Recamier Stradivarius – kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.