“A Formidable Musician, Able To Draw On Huge Reserves Of Stamina And The Unflinching Equal Of Anything Thrown At Her” (Gramophone)
Japanese violinist, Sayaka Shoji has become internationally recognised for her musicianship, brilliant technique and enduring strength on the concert platform and has developed an extensive repertoire including newly commissioned works as well as masterworks by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Sibelius and Shostakovich.
In her early career she established collaborations with the likes of Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons and Sir Colin Davis and has performed with leading conductors including Yuri Temirkanov, Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, Gianandrea Noseda and Paavo Järvi. Shoji has worked with renowned orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, London Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Czech Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, The Mariinsky Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as giving festival appearances in Lucerne, Verbier and for Prague Spring Festival.
Highlights in the 2020/21 season include recital tours with pianist, Víkingur Ólafsson across Europe and Japan as well as collaborations with Saburo Teshigawara on solo works by Bach and Bartok at Philharmonie de Paris. She is regularly reinvited by the Philharmonia Orchestra and St Petersburg Philharmonic and further ahead will make a return to the Wigmore Hall. Alongside her concert activities, Shoji will premiere her experimental video project, ‘Synesthesia’; the transformation of her internal musical image into a visible form of expression. The product of several years work, Shoji will give a live performance of the project in Paris this autumn.
Last season’s highlights included UK and Japanese tours with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy and Esa-Pekka Salonen respectively, as well as tours with Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki and Yuri Temirkanov.
A prolific recording artist, Shoji has released several albums on Deutsche Grammophon including Sibelius and Beethoven Violin Concertos with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. With duo partner, Gianluca Cascioli she has recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin and most recently released a live disc recorded at the Musikverein, Vienna with Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich led by Yutaka Sado featuring Bernstein Serenade. Other live recordings include sonatas by Mozart, Schubert and Brahms recorded with Menahem Pressler.
In 1999 Shoji took first prize as the youngest and first Japanese winner of the Paganini Competition and went on to win the Mainichi Art Award in 2016, one of Japan’s most prestigious awards, presented to those who have had a significant influence on the arts. She plays a Recamier Stradivarius c.1729 kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.