Since taking First Prize at the 1999 Paganini Competition – the first Japanese and youngest artist ever to do so – Sayaka Shoji has performed with the world's leading conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Antonio Pappano.
In the 2010/11 season, Sayaka perform with the Sydney Symphony and Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra with Susanna Mälkki. She toured Japan with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra with Myung-Whun Chung as well as a hugely successful Japan recital tour with Gianluca Cascioli. Other recent engagements included concerts with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, as well as the Cincinnati Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras.
Highlights of the 2011/12 season include performances with Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen with Paavo Järvi and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra with Kazushi Ono. Sayaka recently toured with the Sydney Symphony and Vladimir Ashkenazy, as well as with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov. She also appeared at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and worked with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria. Further ahead, she will tour Japan with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Kazushi Ono and with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
In addition to a busy schedule of concerto performances, Shoji appears regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician alongside colleagues such as Vadim Repin, Lang Lang, Itamar Golan, Yefim Bronfman and Steven Isserlis. Festival appearances have included Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Evian, Annecy, the Estate Musicale del Garda, Fętes Musicales en Touraine, and Folles Journées in Nantes and Tokyo. She will embark on extensive recital tour with Gianluca Cascioli in Japan in the fall, 2012.
Sayaka Shoji records for Deutsche Grammophon. Her debut CD with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra featuring works by Paganini, Chausson and Waxman was critically acclaimed. This was soon followed by a live recording of her debut recital at the Auditorium de Louvre and a further album dedicated to works by Prokofiev and Shostakovich (accompanied on both occasions by Itamar Golan). Her most recent release for Deutsche Grammphon is a selection of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Gianluca Cascioli. She also released a solo album of works by Bach and Reger in 2011 and another album of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 & No. 2 with Ural Philharmonic under Dmitri Liss in 2012 from Mirare.
Shoji's teachers have included Zakhar Bron, Sashko Gawriloff, Shlomo Mintz, Uto Ughi and Riccardo Brengola (for chamber music). She graduated from the Hochschule fur Musik Köln in 2004 and has since made Europe her permanent base.
Sayaka performs on the 1729 Recamier Stradivarius – kindly loaned by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.