The youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Akiko Suwanai enjoys a prestigious international career performing in concert and recital in the major cities of Europe, North America and Asia.
Recent and upcoming highlights include tours with the London Symphony Orchestra (under Valery Gergiev), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (under Sakari Oramo), and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (under Tugan Sokhiev). She also performs with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Belgique, Orquesta Sinfonica de RTVE, Gürzenich Orchester, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Sapporo, St. Louis and Melbourne Symphony orchestras. Suwanai regularly tours with Orchestre de Paris (under Christoph Eschenbach), the NDR Sinfonieorchester (under Christoph von Dohnányi) and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (under Paavo Järvi).
In spring 2009 Suwanai was invited to open the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival - the first Japanese violinist to do so. The event was televised nationally and resulted in a subsequent invitation to perform at the Expo 2010 Shanghai. She recently gave the world premiere of Peter Eötvös's composition Seven at the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra under the baton of Pierre Boulez. Further performances with Eötvös himself conducting included concerts in Gothenburg, Budapest, Berlin, Tokyo and at the 2008 BBC Proms. Akiko also collaborates with renowned conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Seiji Ozawa.
Akiko Suwanai’s extensive discography with Universal Music has garnered much critical acclaim. Her releases to date include CDs with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields under Neville Marriner, the Philharmonia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, a Slavonic album with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer, a CD of Bach Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as a recital disc of Beethoven Sonatas with Nicholas Angelich.
Akiko Suwanai has won numerous prizes and awards such as the International Paganini Competition in Italy, the International Japan Competition and the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. She studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music with Toshiya Eto, at Columbia University and the Juilliard School of Music with Dorothy DeLay and Cho-Liang Lin, and also at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin with Uwe-Martin Haiberg. She now lives in Paris.
Akiko Suwanai performs on the Antonio Stradivarius 1714 violin ‘Dolphin’, one of the most famous violins known today and previously owned by the celebrated violinist Jascha Heifetz. This is kindly loaned by the Nippon Music Foundation.
© Leslie Kee