Sayaka Shoji

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Sayaka Shoji
Sayaka Shoji par Claude Truong-Ngoc février 2014.jpg
Background information
Native name庄司 紗矢香
Born(1983-01-30)January 30, 1983
Tokyo, Japan

Sayaka Shoji (庄司 紗矢香, Shōji Sayaka, born 30 January 1983) is a Japanese classical violinist. She was the first Japanese and youngest winner at the Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999.


Shoji was born in Tokyo into an artistic family (her mother is a painter; her grandmother, a poet) and spent her early childhood in Siena, Italy. When she was 5 years old her family moved back to Japan, where she started studying the violin. From 1995 until 2000, she studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana under Uto Ughi and Riccardo Brengola. At the age of 13, she went to Germany for a year to study with Saschko Gawriloff. In 1998, she moved to Germany to study at Hochschule für Musik Köln under Zakhar Bron and graduated in 2004. She then continued her study with Gawriloff and also took masterclasses of Shlomo Mintz.

In 1997, she made her debut at Lucerne Festival and Musikverein in Vienna with Rudolf Baumgartner. Two years later, she took the First Prize at the 1999 Paganini Competition. Zubin Mehta has been her strong supporter. When Shoji auditioned for him in 2000, he immediately changed his schedule in order to make her first recording with the Israel Philharmonic possible in the following month, then invited her to perform with Bavarian State Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Since then many prominent orchestras have invited Shoji, including Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and WDR Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov, Valery Gergiev, Myung-whun Chung and Semyon Bychkov.

Sayaka Shoji

Shoji records with Deutsche Grammophon. Until 2009 she used the 1715 Joachim Stradivarius on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation; today she plays the 1729 Recamier Stradivarius on loan from Ryuzo Ueno, Honorary Chairman, Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry, Ltd.


Title Artists Label Year
Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1; Chausson: Poéme;

Waxman: Carmen Fantasy; Milstein: Paganiniana

Zubin Mehta (conductor): Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Deutsche Grammophon 2000
Live at the Louvre Itamar Golan (piano) Deutsche Grammophon 2003
Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos Myung-Whun Chung (conductor): Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France Deutsche Grammophon 2003
Prokofiev Violin Sonatas & Shostakovich Preludes Itamar Golan (piano) Deutsche Grammophon 2005
Prelude Itamar Golan (piano); Zubin Mehta (conductor); Myung-Whun Chung (conductor);

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

Deutsche Grammophon
Verbier Festival Highlights 2007 Various including: Hélène Grimaud (piano), Renaud Capuçon (violin),

Lars Anders Tomter (viola), Mischa Maisky (cello)

medici arts 2008
Beethoven: Violin Sonata Nos.2 & 9 Gianluca Cascioli (piano) Deutsche Grammophon 2010
Bach & Reger: Works for Violin Solo:

Sonatas, partitas, preludes & fugues

Mirare 2010
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto Nos.1 & 2 Dmitri Liss (conductor): Ural Philharmonic Orchestra Mirare 2011
Beethoven: Violin Sonata Nos.7 & 8 Gianluca Cascioli (piano) Deutsche Grammophon
Beethoven: Violin Sonata Nos. 1, 3 & 4 Gianluca Cascioli (piano) Deutsche Grammophon
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto Nos. 1 & 2 Yuri Temirkanov (conductor): St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra Deutsche Grammophon 2014
Beethoven: Violin Sonata Nos. 5, 6 & 10 Gianluca Cascioli (piano) Deutsche Grammophon
Live: Mozart, Schubert, Brahms Menahem Pressler (piano) Deutsche Grammophon 2015
Beethoven & Sibelius: Violin Concertos Yuri Temirkanov (conductor): St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra Deutsche Grammophon 2018

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