“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.