He achieved 1st prize at major international competitions including the Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition in 2006, Paris FLAME International Music Competition in 2009, International Johannes Brahms Competition in 2010 and the Windsor Festival International String Competition in 2011. In 2012 he successfully auditioned for the prestigious YCA artists, and was selected as CHANEL Tokyo Pygmalion Days artist for 2013/2014.
At age 17 he toured all over Croatia as Zagreb Management artist, and made his international début with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the opening concert of the prestigious Windsor Festival at age 21 performing the Dvořák Cello Concerto at full-house Windsor Castle.
Described by the Arts Desk as “cellist of an out-of-the-ordinary instinctiveness, natural affinity for music with great intuition, senses and spontaneous combustion”, he has performed as concerto soloist and recitalist at renowned venues round the world including Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, St. Martin in the Fields in London, Tokyo Opera City Hall “Takemitsu Memorial”, CHANEL Nexus Hall, Toppan Hall in Tokyo, Theatre Marigny in Paris, Teatro Marcello in Rome, Mirabel Palace in Salzburg, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, and Culture & Arts Centre in Seoul.
He is particularly lauded for his interpretations of late Romantic works, and has given world-premières of the commissioned works dedicated to him. In October 2012, he released his début recording of Rachmaninov: Complete Works for Cello and Piano (Champs Hill Records) with Sofya Gulyak, which was chosen as January 2013’s ‘Recommended Disc’ by the Strad magazine and praised as “Yuki Ito triumphs in Rachmaninov…Sensational recital”, and selected as ‘Highlighted Disc’ and ‘Month’s Must-listen’ by the major companies in Japan including Tower Records and Yamano Music. Available on iTunes/Amazon/HMV/Naxos etc.
As conductor he made his debut at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall “Takemitsu Memorial” with Beethoven Symphony No.7 and playing/directing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 in collaboration with the famous flower arranger Shogo Kariyazaki, and at St. Martin in the Fields in London with the renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber as soloist.
He received glowing accolades from HRH The Prince Edward when he was invited to give a recital at HRH’s private home in 2012, and as charity activity he performed in presence of HRH The Princess Alexandra for children with hemiplegia in 2007. He has also frequently performed to fund-raise for the victims of the 2011’s Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.
He has recorded/performed for the BBC Radio 3, Radio Classique de France, Nederland Radio 4, KT-1 Austria and NHK Japan, and the UK’s famous presenter Anne Diamond, who invited him to her own BBC Radio talk-programme, wrote on BBC: “Even classical musicians nowadays have to look like a bankable, marketable star with Hollywood style charisma, and today I met a young man who clearly fits the bill already!”
He participated in the late Janos Starker’s last masterclass in Europe at Kronberg Academy, and masterclasses with Frans Helmerson and Steven Isserlis.
Yuki Ito is on the ‘Dictionary of Japanese Musicians’ and featured in the ‘Amazing Talents from Japan - String Players Calendar’, both published in Japan in 2012.