- Chamber Music
In 2016 Quartet Amabile won third prize as well as the special prize for best interpretation of the commissioned competition piece in the string quartet division of the 65th ARD International Music Competition Munich, a competition known for its difficulty.
The quartet was awarded first prize in the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Audition in New York.
The group was formed in 2015 by members Yuna Shinohara (violin), Chihiro Kitada (violin), Meguna Naka (viola), and Tatsuki Sasanuma (cello) while they were enrolled at Toho Gakuen School of Music. They studied under Kazuhide Isomura and Nobuko Yamazaki.
In 2016, Quartet Amabile won the Grand Prix in all divisions as well as first prize in the 10th Yokohama International Music Competition, and first prize in the 12th Romanian International Music Competition. They were also awarded the Lecturer’s Special Prize in the 12th Music Academy in Miyazaki, the 26th Risonare Chamber Music Seminar Encouragement Prize, and the 38th Kirishima International Music Festival Prize and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi Music Director Prize. They received the Matsuo Music Subsidy from Matsuo Academy Promotion Foundation in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Quartet Amabile has been involved in the “Brahms Plus” series at Hakuju Hall since 2020, and the “Beethoven String Quartet Complete Works” series at Oji Hall since 2021. They have performed with renowned musicians including Martha Argerich, Krzysztof Jabłonski, Dang Thai Son, and Paul Meyer. In March 2021 the quartet received the Hotel Okura Music Award. Their future activities are highly anticipated.
Yuna Shinohara, violin
Yuna Shinohara was awarded the 17th Hiroyuki Iwaki Music Award in 2023. She won 2nd Prize and the Iwatani Prize (audience prize) at the 80th Japan Music Competition. She played violin for the main character of the Fuji TV animated series “Your Lie in April.” She is a Chanel Pygmalion Days artist. She released the CD “Estreno” on EPIC SONY in 2016.
Yuna Shinohara graduated at the top of her class from Toho Gakuen Music High School, completed the Soloist Diploma Course at Toho Gakuen School of Music, received a diploma from the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, and completed the master’s degree course at Toho Gakuen School of Music. She studied violin with Kinya Yamashita, Akiko Tatsumi, Maxim Vengerov and Fuminori Shinozaki, and studied chamber music with Kazuoki Fujii, Tsugio Tokunaga, Kazuhide Isomura and others. She is a recipient of scholarships from the Yamaha Music Support Program, the Meiji Yasuda Quality of Life Foundation, and the Rohm Music Foundation. She plays a G.F. Pressenda ex “Carl Flesch” made in 1832 (Munetsugu Collection).
Chihiro Kitada, violin
Chihiro Kitada began playing the violin at the age of three. She won 4th Prize in the 7th Sendai International Music Competition and 2nd Prize in the 1st International Music Competition of Bratislava Academy of Performing Arts. She also won 1st Prize in the Junior High School Division of the 65th All Japan Student Music Competition. She has been awarded the IMA Encouragement Prize at the Ishikawa Music Academy, the Music Academy in Miyazaki Excellence Prize, and the Kirishima International Music Festival Prize.
Chihiro Kitada has performed at the Tokyo Spring Music Festival, Miyazaki International Music Festival, Kirishima International Music Festival, Beppu Argerich Music Festival and others. She has appeared with orchestras in Japan and abroad, including the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, and Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. She studied violin under Yoshiyuki Kawamoto, Eiko Komuro, Naoko Murakami, Isako Shinozaki, and Yuzuko Horigome. After graduating from the Toho Gakuen School of Music and that school’s master’s degree program, she continued her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
Meguna Naka, Viola
Meguna Naka began playing the violin at the age of four and switched to the viola at the age of 21. She was a prizewinner in the elementary school division of the 2005 Student Music Concours of Japan in Nagoya. After graduating from Toho Gakuen Music High School, she went on to earn a degree from Toho Gakuen School of Music, and to complete the master’s course at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin. She has appeared on programs such as “Untitled Concert,” “Recital Passio” and “Viola Space,” in the concert series “B→C,” and in numerous festivals including the Tokyo Spring Music Festival, Miyazaki International Music Festival, Kirishima International Music Festival and Kitakyushu International Music Festival. She performed with Nobuko Imai in “The 5th Nobuko Imai Viola Recital.” She is a Chanel Pygmalion Days Chamber Music Artist and a Music Dialogue Artist.
Meguna Naka has studied violin with Ryoji Kubo, and viola with Ryo Sasaki and Walter Küssner. She is currently the principal violist of the New Japan Philharmonic. She plays a Montagnana viola on special loan from the Munetsugu Collection.
Tatsuki Sasanuma, Cello
Tatsuki Sasanuma was born in Tokyo in 1994. His competition awards include first prizes in the cello section of the All Japan Student Music Competition and the Salzburg Mozart International Chamber Music Competition, as well as prizes in the Tokyo Music Competition and Japan Music Competition. After graduating at the top of his class from Toho Gakuen Music High School, he graduated from the Soloist Diploma Course at Toho Gakuen School of Music and from the Department of German Language and Culture in the Faculty of Letters at Gakushuin University. He also completed a graduate course at Toho Gakuen Graduate School. In 2017, he was awarded the Gakushuin Cultural Activities Award and gave a performance at the school in honor of and attended by the Emperor and Empress of Japan. The recital series is held annually. Sasanuma is a Chanel Pygmalion Days Artist. His debut album, “Requiebros” (Nippon Columbia), was very successful, earning Special Mention from Record Geijutsu magazine.
Sasanuma has performed as a soloist with the New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Prague National Theatre Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and others. In addition, he has frequently performed chamber music with renowned musicians at music festivals in Japan and abroad. He is currently enrolled as a special student at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. He was awarded the 20th Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Prize in 2022.
Tatsuki Sasanuma studied under Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Henri Demarquette. His instrument is a 1771 C.F. Landolfi (Munetsugu Collection).