Yasuko Ohtani, who in 2023 celebrates the 48th anniversary of her debut, is one of Japan’s leading violinists in terms of both popularity and talent. Acclaimed for her “singing violin,” she moves and delights audiences with her vivid stage presence and warm, profound musicality.
After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, Ohtani went on to complete the doctoral course at that university’s graduate school. She began her career as a soloist while still a student. She has performed recitals to high acclaim in locations such as Vienna, Rome, Cologne and Berlin, and received praise for concerts performed on the invitation of the Toronto Music Festival, the city of Salzburg and others.
In addition to recitals, Ohtani has performed with many renowned orchestras from Japan and other countries, including NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovakia Philharmonic, and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. She received a great deal of attention for her unprecedented achievement of performing, in a single day, two concerts of four violin concertos each. Since 2017 she has been invited each year to appear with the Kiev Philharmonic. In May of 2019, she carried out a 12-city Japan tour with the outstanding pianist Itamar Golan, earning excellent reviews.
Ohtani’s latest CD, recorded with Itamar Golan, is a collection of famous works conveying the “esprit” of France. Her numerous and highly praised recordings also include the best-selling Sony releases Fantasie de la Traviata and Richard Strauss/Beethoven Sonata No. 5 (recorded in Berlin with pianist Itamar Golan). Her wide-ranging activities include emceeing and performing on the TV music program Ongaku Kosaten along with rakugo artist Koasa Shunputei (aired every Saturday at 8 a.m. on BS TV Tokyo). Ohtani published the book Violinist, Kyo mo Hashiru! (Kadokawa) in 2018.
Yasuko Ohtani is a recipient of the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ “Art Festival Award.” She is a professor at Tokyo College of Music and a former visiting professor at Tokyo University of the Arts, as well as a distinguished professor at Tokyo University of the Arts Junior Academy. She also serves as Chair of the Nerima Cultural Promotion Association, Cultural Ambassador of Kawasaki City, Kochi Prefecture Tourism Special Envoy, and Chair of the Japan Symphony Foundation and the Japan Federation of Musicians.
Yasuko Ohtani plays a 1708 Pietro Guarneri violin.
Curriculum Vitae as of May 2022