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Tomoko Yamasaki began her music
studies at the age of nine, taking up violin studies at Soai Gakuen Music
Academy for Children. She was enrolled as a violin student in the music
department at Soai High School, and continued her music education at
Soai University receiving her undergraduate diploma in music in.
Yamasaki studied violin under Ikuyo Higuchi, the late Yuji Togi, Chieko
Sogabe, Mitsuko Sato and Machie Oguri.
In 1988, while still a student at Soai University, Yamasaki's musical interests
turned from the violin to the viola, a move that introduced her to such
exemplary teachers as Shuzo Ide, Haruo Takeuchi, Mazumi Tanamura, JunJi
Suganuma and Hermann Voss.
Upon graduation from university in 1990, Yamasaki was selected first chair
of the viola section for the newly formed Century Orchestra Osaka, a precocious
achievement that attracted a great deal of attention.
During the summer of 1990, Yamasaki attended the "Siena Summer Session
for Music and the Arts" at the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena,
Italy where she studied chamber music under Ricardo Brengola and viola
under Yuri Bashmet.
She was awarded a diploma upon completion of her studies. She won third
prize in the chamber music division at the Takarazuka Vega Music Competition,
and also successfully placed in auditions for NHK.
In 1992, Yamasaki performed the Walton Viola Concerto with the Century
Osaka under the baton of Maestro Uri Segal. She also retired from the orchestra
same year to concentrate her musical energies on the newly formed Lotus
Quartet, which announced their entry onto the world stage by finishing
second at the
2nd Japan Chamber Music Competition. Again, in 1993, the Lotus String Quartet
third prize at the 1st Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.
Yamasaki is currently based in Tokyo and making busy concert appearances
including solo recitals in Osaka, as well as annual appearances at the
Mombetsu Music Festival and Kiso Music Festivals.
In 1995, the Lotus String Quartet attended the Stuttgart State Music Academy
to further their studies with the Melos String Quartet. In 1997, the Lotus
String Quartet was awarded the Menuhin Prize at the prestigious London
International String Quartet Competition, a formidable competition not
for the faint of heart. The quartet also took first prize in the string
quartet division at the Deutsche BDI Music Competition. These accomplishments
led to a recording contract with Warner Teldec and the world release of
their CD under the same label. They are the only quartet to enjoy an international
reputation equal to that of the famed Tokyo String Quartet.
Yamasaki is already a familiar face on the international concert stage
as a member of the Lotus String Quartet; her fame as a young concert violist
in her own right is every bit as promising as her gifts are as a chamber
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