Hiroko Sasaki has established a successful career as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. Ms. Sasaki’s concert debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall prompted Harris Goldsmith of the New York Concert Review to declare her “a true artist at work.” Musical America praised the same concert for its “exquisite proportion and rare poetic understatement.” The Washington Post has acclaimed her “radiant playing,” and the 2004 Musical America singled her out as one of the world’s most outstanding young musicians.

Ms. Sasaki continues to perform extensively as recitalist and chamber musician in England, Scotland, Taiwan, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. She gives annual recitals in Carnegie’s Weill Hall and makes frequent tours of Japan. She has regularly performed chamber music in festivals such as the Budapest Spring Festival, the Huddington Festival, theYehudi Menuhin Festival, Tanglewood, Taos, Banff, Tel Hai, Richmond, and L'Academie Musicale de Villecroze, where she won a career-development grant. She is currently a member of the Amadeus Trio, which performs regularly throughout the United States. She has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Chamber Orchestra, and members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Her recording of Debussy’s complete Preludes was recently released by Piano Classics, to much critical acclaim, including a four-star review from The Guardian (“her phrasing is perfectly polished . . . a beautiful sound Debussy would have recognized.”) Record Geijutsu awarded this record its second-highest honor, and noted "The performance is full of refined nuance . . . the Preludes in both books are performed with a sense of vivid imagery worthy of the music.” She has also recorded the complete sonatas for cello and piano by Frank Levy, for the Naxos label, with cellist Scott Ballantyne.

When Ms. Sasaki was 13, the celebrated pianist Mitsuko Uchida arranged for her to leave Japan and attend the Yehudi Menuhin School in England.  Soon after, she made her European debut. At 16, she entered the Curtis Institute, where she studied with Leon Fleisher, graduating in 1994. She later earned a Master of Music degree with Mr. Fleisher from the Peabody Conservatory on full scholarship, and an Artist Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Her teachers have included Marc Durand, Yoheved Kaplisnky, Gilbert Kalish, and Sophia Rosoff.

 

Photo: Michael Wilson

A true artist at work
— Harris Goldsmith, New York Concert Review
Pianist Hiroko Sasaki played with galvanic power in the Shostakovich, then turned around to treat the cascading runs in Mendelssohn’s music like so many strings of shimmering pearls. … radiant playing.
— Washington Post