“A Formidable Musician, Able To Draw On Huge Reserves Of Stamina And The Unflinching Equal Of Anything Thrown At Her” (Gramophone)


First Prize winner at the 1999 Paganini Competition – the first Japanese and youngest artist ever to do so, Sayaka Shoji has been performing with the world’s leading conductors including Yuri Temirkanov, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, Riccaldo Chailly, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Paavo Järvi and Sir Antonio Pappano.


Recent engagements include Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Osmo Vänskä),  The Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev), NDR Sinfonieorchester (Krzysztof Urbański), Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Gianandrea Noseda), Tonkustler Orchestra (Yutaka Sado), NHK Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Ashkenazy), and St Petersburg Philharmonic (Yuri Temirkanov). She also performs the Violin Concerto by Krzysztof Penderecki conducted by the composer himself.


Sayaka’s long-time mentor and supporter, Yuri Termikanov, invited her regularly since 2001. They have toured together in Russia, UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Latvia, Italy, Mexico, Japan and USA.  In 2012 they recorded Prokofiev’s Violin Concertos, and in 2017 Beethoven & Sibelius Violin Concertos, both albums for Deutsche Grammophon.


Born in Tokyo and spent her early childhood in Siena, Italy, Sayaka has started studying the violinat age of 5. From 1995 until 2000, she studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana under Uto Ughi and Riccardo Brengola. At the age of 13, she went to Germany for a year to study with Saschko Gawriloff. In 1998, she moved to Germany to study at Hochschule für Musik Kölnunder Zakhar Bron and graduated in 2004.

In 1997, she made her debut at Lucerne Festival and Musikverein in Vienna with Rudolf Baumgartner. Two years later, she took the First Prize at the 1999 Paganini Competition. Zubin Mehta has been her strong supporter. When Shoji auditioned for him in 2000, he immediately changed his schedule in order to make her first recording with the Israel Philharmonic possible in the following month, then invited her to perform with Bavarian State Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Since then many prominent orchestras have invited Shoji, including Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and WDR Symphony Orchestra.


Sayaka appears regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician at festivals such as Verbier, Annecy, Ravenna, Prague Spring, Settimane Musicale di Chigiana, Beethovenfest Bonn and Rencontres Musicales d’Evian. She recently gave a recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall which included a new commission solo violin work by Toshio Hosokawa.    In 2014, She also toured with Menahem Pressler and their collaboration was documented in a live recording.   Sayaka and pianist Gianluca Cascioli have completed recording of all Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin in 2015.


Sayaka plays the 1729 Recamier Stradivarius – kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.


For more information please visit: http://www.sayakashoji.com/