Described by Gramophone magazine as “a formidable musician, able to draw on huge reserves of stamina and the unflinching equal of anything thrown at her,” Sayaka Shoji regularly performs with the world’s leading conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, Paavo Järvi, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Antonio Pappano and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Recent engagements have included concerts with the Wiener Symphoniker, BBC Philharmonic, Swedish Chamber, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony and NHK Symphony orchestras.
Highlights of the 2016/17 season include her debuts with Singapore Symphony Orchestra, returns to Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Osmo Vänskä), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Kazushi Ono) and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (Shiyeon Sung), and tours of Japan with The Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev) and NDR Sinfonieorchester (Krzysztof Urbański). Further ahead, she will work with Krzysztof Penderecki to perform his Violin Concerto No. 2 (Metamorphosen) for the first time, and she will also work with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Gianandrea Noseda) and Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Sayaka’s long-time mentor and supporter, Yuri Termikanov, invited her, the only non-Russian musician, to perform at his 70th and 75th birthday gala concerts in St Petersburg. They have toured together with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy and USA, and in March 2017 they will tour again to the US and then to Japan in 2018. In 2012 they recorded Prokofiev’s Violin Concertos together for Deutsche Grammophon. Sayaka and Termikanov have also collaborated together with the Philharmonia Orchestra on numerous occasions as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, and in spring 2018 they will work with Orchestre National de Lyon.
Sayaka appears regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician alongside artists such as Joshua Bell, Vadim Repin, Itamar Golan, Steven Isserlis, Lang Lang, and Martin Fröst. Recent festival appearances have included Verbier, Annecy, Ravenna, Prague Spring, Settimane Musicale di Chigiana, Beethovenfest Bonn and Rencontres Musicales d’Evian. She recently gave a recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall which included a new commission solo violin work by Toshio Hosokawa. In the 2016/17 season she will participate in Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern, Stavanger Chamber Music Festival and Vinterfest and give a recital tour in South Korea. In autumn 2016 Sayaka will also participate in a theatre project entitled ‘Real Voice’ which is based on a drama, La Voix humaine, written by Jean Cocteau – the collaborators for this project are Hiroshi Sugimoto, Keiichiro Hirano and Shinobu Terashima, and four performances will take place in Tokyo.
Sayaka regularly partners with pianist Gianluca Cascioli and their fourth and final installment of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata was released in spring 2015. She also performs with Menahem Pressler and their collaboration was documented in a live recording and it was released in autumn 2015.
Sayaka Shoji has lived in Europe since 1998. She took First Prize at the 1999 Paganini Competition – the first Japanese and youngest artist ever to do so. In January 2016, she received the prestigious Mainichi Art Award. Sayaka plays the 1729 Recamier Stradivarius – kindly loaned to her by Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry Ltd.