Akiko Saito made her recital debut at the age of 15 and subsequently went to study in Spain. She won first prize at the 2nd Spain Guitar Music Competition in 1984, first prize at the 30th Tokyo International Guitar Competition in ‘87, and top prizes and other honors at various competitions in Japan and other countries.
Saito won worldwide acclaim for her recitals at Casals Hall in 1988, in Vienna in 1990, and in Tsuda Hall (Tokyo) and Carnegie Hall (New York) in 1991. She has performed with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa. In addition to her work as a soloist, she has collaborated with popular young talents such as sopranos Fumiko Kabahara and Minako Shioda, and violinist Yasushi Toyoshima, exploring and broadening the potential of vocal and instrumental works by performing them on the guitar. Saito has also appeared on a number of television programs including the satellite broadcast Serenade and the NHK Educational TV program Saturday Soliton Side B, as well as a popular variety program.
Saito moved to Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, in 1997. While enjoying a dialogue with nature, she has been exploring guitar music which offers a tranquility that is both delicate and majestic.
Saito has released the CDs Spain, Art Sauvage and Guitare Romantique on Sony Records. She performs on a 10-string guitar.