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Akiko Suwanai

'No melody, tone or emotion was beyond her as she played impeccably, dazzling the audience with bowing pyrotechnics that left no one in doubt of her sumptuous skills.'
Star Online, March 2008

The youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Akiko Suwanai enjoys a prestigious international career performing in concert and recital in the major cities of Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Recent and upcoming highlights include tours with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Sakari Oramo, and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse under Tugan Sokhiev. She also performs with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orquesta Nacional de Espaņa, Bamberger Symphoniker and St. Louis, Melbourne and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. Suwanai regularly tours with Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach, the NDR Sinfonieorchester under Christoph von Dohnányi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Paavo Järvi.

In spring 2009 Suwanai was invited to open the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival as the first Japanese violinist, a nationally televised event, resulting in a subsequent invitation to perform at the Expo 2010 Shanghai. She recently gave the world première of Peter Eötvös's composition Seven at the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra under the baton of Pierre Boulez. Other collaborations with renowned conductors include Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Akiko Suwanai's extensive discography with Universal Music has garnered much critical acclaim. Her releases to date include CDs with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, a Slavonic album with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer, a CD of Bach Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as a recital disc of Beethoven Sonatas with Nicholas Angelich.

Akiko Suwanai has won numerous prizes and awards such as the International Paganini Competition in Italy, the International Japan Competition and the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. She studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, at Columbia University, the Juilliard School of Music, and also at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. She now lives in Paris.

Akiko Suwanai performs on the Antonio Stradivarius 1714 violin 'Dolphin', one of the most famous violins known today and previously owned by the celebrated violinist Jascha Heifetz. This is kindly loaned by the Nippon Music Foundation.