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Tomoko Yamasaki (Viola)
 
     


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 Orchestra
Osaka under the baton of Maestro Uri Segal. She also retired from the orchestra this
same year to concentrate her musical energies on the newly formed Lotus String
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 took
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 musician.


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