Born in May 2004, Shio Okui is in the 6th grade in elementary school. She has studied with Elena Ashkenazy since she was 7, and is currently a scholar of the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation. She made her orchestral debut at age 8, and at 12 she performed with the internationally renowned conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in Vladivostok, on the Maestro’s invitation. Since she was 10, she has performed numerous times with leading Russian conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov; and their concert of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, in which she appeared at age 11, was broadcast worldwide by Radio Orfey. At the festival hosted by the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation, “Moscow Meets Friends,” which marks its 13th edition this year, Okui was chosen as a soloist of the Grand Opening Ceremony representing the pianists of 2016, and performed at the opening of the festival with the Moscow Virtuosi under the baton of Mo. Spivakov.
Shio has been invited to overseas music festivals since she was 9 years old. She has performed at the I International Mariinsky Festival “Far East,” Vladimir Spivakov Invites…, ArsLonga Festival, ArtDialog, International Piano Festival “Lato z Chopinem,” Salacgriva International Classical Music Festival and others. She has appeared in concerts in Russia, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and Armenia, among others. At the international music festival “Stars on Baikal” (Russia, 2014) directed by the pianist Denis Matsuev, and ”Sberbank-Debut” (Ukraine, 2013), Okui performed a concerto as soloist along with Matsuev for the grand opening of the festival. Her performances in Russia are frequently reported on by the Russia-K State TV channel.
In May 2016, Shio was selected as the youngest of the seven prize winners in the “Grand Piano Competition,” a unique competition in which the winners are not ranked, held in Moscow for the first time on the initiative of Mr. Matsuev. Her performance at the Grand Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory was broadcast by Medici.tv. On hearing her play, Evgeny Kissin said, “To understand and feel the music to this extent and have such a mastery of the instrument at her age is simply amazing.” (Quoted from Classical Music News, Russia) Other awards include the 1st Prize ”Discovery Prize” as the youngest participant in the Junior Group of the 1st Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition (Moscow, 2015), 1st Prize and Special Prize/Junior group in the 2nd International Festival and Competition “Astana Piano Passion” (Kazakhstan, 2014), 2nd Prize/Piano Category and Audience Awards/All Categories in the 14th International Television Contest for Young Musicians “Nutcracker” (Russia, 2013), and 1st Prize and Special Prize from the Ministry of Culture/Categories A and D in the 10th International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz “Horowitz-Debut” (Ukraine, 2013).
As a soloist, in addition to the Mariinsky Orchestra, Okui has appeared with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov,” National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Governor’s Irkutsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Manchester Camerata, Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Astana Philharmonic Orchestra and Toruń Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in many concert halls, including the Bolshoi Theatre, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Great Hall and Rachmaninov Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, Moscow International House of Music, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, National Opera House of Ukraine, Hall of Columns of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Astana Opera House, and Kioi Hall. Plans for the 2016/2017 season include a performance with Vladimir Fedoseyev and the Ural Philharmonic, a repeat performance at the “Stars on Baikal” festival in Irkutsk in September, and a concert at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris in December.
1st Grand Piano Competition [16 and under], Prize Winner (youngest winner) and Special Prize (Russia)
1st Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition, 1st Prize ”Discovery Prize”/Junior Group [13 and under], in which she was the youngest participant (Russia)
2nd International Festival and Competition “Astana Piano Passion,” 1st Prize and Special Prize/Junior group [10 and under] (Kazakhstan)
14th International Television Contest for Young Musicians “Nutcracker,” 2nd Prize/Piano Category and Audience Awards /All Categories [14 and under] (Russia)
4th Manchester International Concerto Competition for Young Pianists [16 and under], 1st Prize (United Kingdom)
10th International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz “Horowitz-Debut” [14 and under], 1st Prize and Special Prize from the Ministry of Culture/ Categories A and D (Ukraine)
Eighth International Competition “Young Virtuosos,” Group I [11 and under], 1st Prize (Bulgaria)