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.