November 10, 2017 (Fri)
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 Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, Paavo Järvi, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Antonio Pappano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Recent engagements have included concerts with the BBC Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, The Deutsche Kammerphiharmonie Bremen, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony and NHK Symphony orchestras.
Highlights of the 2016/17 season include her debuts with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Osmo Vänskä), Iceland Symphony and Singapore Symphony, a return to Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Kazushi Ono) and Seoul Philharmonic (Shiyeon Sung), and tours of Japan with the Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev) and NDR Sinfonieorchester (Krzysztof Urbański).
Sayaka's long-time mentor and supporter, Yuri Termikanov, invited her, the only non-Russian musician, to perform at his 70th and 75th birthday gala concerts in St Petersburg. They have toured together with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy and USA, and return to USA in the future season. In 2012 they recorded Prokofiev's Violin Concertos together for Deutsche Grammophon. They have also collaborated together with the Philharmonia Orchestra on numerous occasions and London Symphony and will tour to the US with St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in March 2017.
Sayaka appears regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician alongside artists such as Joshua Bell, Vadim Repin, Itamar Golan, Steven Isserlis, Lang Lang, and Martin Fröst. Recent festival appearances have included Verbier, Annecy, Ravenna, Prague Spring, Settimane Musicale di Chigiana, Beethovenfest Bonn festivals and Rencontres Musicales d'Evian. She recently gave a recital debut at Wigmore Hall which included a new commission solo violin work by Toshio Hosokawa. In 2016/2017 season, she participates in Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern and Stavanger Chamber Music Festival and gives recital tour in South Korea. She will also participate in a theatre project entitled "Real Voice" which is based on a drama, "La Voix humaine" written by Jean Cocteau. The collaborators for this project are Hiroshi Sugimoto, Keiichiro Hirano and Shinobu Terashima, and four performances will take place in Tokyo in autum 2016.
Sayaka regularly partners with pianist Gianluca Cascioli and their fourth and final installment of the complete cycle of Beethoven's Violin Sonata was released in spring 2015. She also performs with Menahem Pressler and their collaboration is documented in a live recording, to be released on CD in autumn 2015.
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. In January 2016, she received prestigious Mainichi Art Award. She plays the 1729 Recamier Stradivarius – kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.
Dmitri Atapine has been described as a cellist with "brilliant technical chops" (Gramophone), whose playing is "highly impressive throughout" (The Strad). As a soloist and recitalist, he has appeared on some of the world's foremost stages, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Zankel and Weill halls at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, and the National Auditorium of Spain. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Atapine has appeared with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and will begin a three-year residency as member of CMS Two in 2015. His frequent festival appearances have included Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, La Musica Sarasota, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, and Aix-en-Provence Festival among many others, with performances broadcast on radio and television in Spain, Italy, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea.
Mr. Atapine's multiple awards include top prizes at the Carlos Prieto International, the Florian Ocampo, and the Llanes cello competitions, as well as the Plowman, New England, and the Premio Vittorio Gui chamber competitions. His recent engagements have included collaborations with such distinguished musicians as Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Bruno Giuranna, David Shifrin, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Mr. Atapine's recordings, among them a world-premiere of Lowell Liebermann's complete works for cello and piano, can be found on the Naxos, Albany, Urtext Digital, BlueGriffin and Bridge record labels.
Mr. Atapine holds the doctorate degree from Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Aldo Parisot. Born into a family of musicians, his teachers have included Alexander Fedortchenko and Suren Bagratuni. The Artistic Director of Ribadesella Chamber Music Festival (Spain) and Apex Concerts (Nevada), he is the cello professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and is a member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program.
Hailed by the Washington Post as "a pianist's pianist," Ryo has established himself as one of Canada's shining artists. His 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. He is 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 orchestras around the world, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Moroccan Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Kioi Symphonietta. His performances have taken him to such venues as the Kennedy Center, The National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Salle Cortot in Paris among others.
In addition to his solo career, he is much sought after as a chamber musician, performing in a wide range of settings from the duo sonata repertoire to large ensembles. Ryo is frequently invited as guest pianist to chamber music festivals across the US, in the capacity of both lecturer and collaborative pianist. He also presided as one of the core members of the Evermay Chamber Ensemble.
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 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 increasingly recognized not only as a performer but as a pedagogue, and is in demand as adjudicator to competitions and as masterclass clinician in North America and Asia. He has also released two solo CDs consisting of works by Chopin and Debussy, as well as a CD in collaboration with the cellist Dai Miyata in Japan.
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, and was a visiting Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He currently holds the title of Artistic Director of the Ryuji Ueno Foundation in Washington DC.