Naoko Takao
Naoko Takao, Piano
Special Committee Award

Pianist Naoko Takao, recipient of the S&R Foundation’s newly-created Special Committee Award for local Washington, DC-based talent, received degrees from Hartt School of Music and the University of Maryland and is currently on the faculty of Washington, D.C.’s Levine School of Music. The Japanese pianist is a prize winner at the New Orleans International and Missouri Southern International piano competitions, as well as a gold medalist at the San Antonio International Piano Competition.

Pianist Naoko Takao, recipient of the S&R Foundation’s newly-created Special Committee Award for local Washington, DC-based talent, received degrees from Hartt School of Music and the University of Maryland and is currently on the faculty of Washington, D.C.’s Levine School of Music. The Japanese pianist is a prize winner at the New Orleans International and Missouri Southern International piano competitions, as well as a gold medalist at the San Antonio International Piano Competition. She has been actively performing as recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician in the United States, as well as in Canada, France, Taiwan, and Japan, and performs regularly with such noted ensembles as Smithsonian Chamber Players and Santa Fe Pro Musica.

Shunské Sato
Shunské Sato, Violin
Grand Prize, 2nd Place

Japanese-born violinist Shunské Sato made his debut as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age ten, and has frequently appeared with major orchestras across the globe. The young violinist studied at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division under Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki and at the Curtis Institute under Jaime Laredo.

Japanese-born violinist Shunské Sato made his debut as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age ten, and has frequently appeared with major orchestras across the globe. The young violinist studied at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division under Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki and at the Curtis Institute under Jaime Laredo. Sato has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Myung-Whun Chung, Sergiu Comissiona, Philippe Entremont, Thierry Fisher, Valery Gerghiev, Alan Gilbert, Christopher Hogwood, Zdenek Macal, Ingo Metzmacher, Eiji Oue, Yuri Temirkanov, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and David Zinman, among others. He has performed recitals at the Louvre in Paris, at Washington’s Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y and Weill Recital Hall in New York, Aspen Music Festival, Boston’s Gardner Museum, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, and throughout Japan.

Sayaka Shoji
Sayaka Shoji, Violin
Grand Prize, 1st Place

Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji is in demand with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. This young artist rose to international attention in 1999 when she became the first Japanese violinist to win first prize at the prestigious Paganini International Violin Competition in Genova, Italy.

Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji is in demand with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. This young artist rose to international attention in 1999 when she became the first Japanese violinist to win first prize at the prestigious Paganini International Violin Competition in Genova, Italy. Shoji has appeared around the world with leading orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian State Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Sinfonica Nationale della R.A.I., Philharmonia Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Zubin Mehta has been a frequent musical partner to Shoji. Other conductors she has worked with include Ashkenazy, Berio, Bertini, Jansons, Sawallisch, Spivakov, Termirkanov and Zukerman. She has appeared in the major concert halls of Japan and Europe. She records for Deutsche Grammophon, and has studied at Italy’s Accademia Musicale Chigiana, at Die Hochschule and with Shlomo Mintz in Israel.

Moto Osada
Moto Osada, Composer

Composer Moto Osada’s music draws on Japanese themes and traditional instruments to augment Western harmonies; he also frequently incorporates the latest in music technology ranging from electronic equipment to computer-generated sounds. The Japanese composer has written works for full orchestra, as well as chamber and solo works for various instruments. He has written extensively for film and television, as well as for the theater and dance media.

Composer Moto Osada’s music draws on Japanese themes and traditional instruments to augment Western harmonies; he also frequently incorporates the latest in music technology ranging from electronic equipment to computer-generated sounds. The Japanese composer has written works for full orchestra, as well as chamber and solo works for various instruments. He has written extensively for film and television, as well as for the theater and dance media. Increasingly in demand nationally and internationally, his works have been heard in such countries as the United States, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and his native Japan. A graduate of New York University – he is a three-time winner of the school’s Composition Award (1996, 1997, and 1998) – and the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Osada’s recent honors include grants from the ASCAP and the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. He was also selected as a recipient of the 2003 Jerome Composers Commissioning Program by the American Composers Forum, and has been awarded residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. Mr. Osada currently resides in New York.

Naoko Takada, Marimba

Marimbist Naoko Takada was born in Tokyo, graduated from California State University at Northridge, earned a Master of Music degree from Ithaca Collage, and also studied at Boston Conservatory. Takada won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and YCA presented her New York debut at the 92nd Street Y, as well as debuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Marimbist Naoko Takada was born in Tokyo, graduated from California State University at Northridge, earned a Master of Music degree from Ithaca Collage, and also studied at Boston Conservatory. Takada won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and YCA presented her New York debut at the 92nd Street Y, as well as debuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. She has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Houston Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay (CA), the Xalapa Symphony in Mexico, and the China National Symphony Orchestra. She has performed on radio stations WQXR in New York, WGBH in Boston, and RTHK in Hong Kong, among others, as well as in masterclasses and in recital. Awards include First Prize at the 2002 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg National Young Artist Competition to perform as soloist with the orchestra, First Prize at the 2001 Sorantin Young Artists International Competition in Texas, the Marimba Special Prize at the 2001 IBLA Grand Prize International Competition, First Prize in the 2000 Japan International League of Artists Competition in Tokyo, and the Percussive Arts Society’s Thomas Siwe and Larrie Londin Memorial Scholarships. Takada is a Yamaha performing artist. She is collaborating with Encore Mallets to create her signature line of mallets.