Yayoi Toda, Violinist – Biography

Yayoi Toda studied in the music department of the Toho Gakuen High School in Tokyo and after graduating as top student from the Toho Gakuen College Music Department, she went to Europe for further studies at Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Music Academy. In 1993 she came to the attention of classical music world when she was awarded first prize at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium.

Her overseas performances have included concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of New York, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Bonn Beethovenhalle Orchestra, the Hague Residentie Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Singapore Symphony, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen to name but a few, as well as many of Japan’s major orchestras.

She has also performed to rave reviews with artists including Seiji Ozawa, Yuri Simonov, Jean Fournet, Gary Bertini, Kenichiro Kobayashi, Martha Argerich, Stanislav Bunin, Peter Eötvös, Shlomo Mintz, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Alexander Schneider and Abdel Rahman El Bacha.

In 1996, Ms. Toda received the Delay Scholarship to study for one year at the Juilliard School and won the Young Concert Artists International Audition. A year later she made her highly acclaimed New York debut and performed the Violin Concerto No. 2 by the Dutch composer Tristan Keuris (1946-1996), of which she is the dedicatee, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1999 she curated a recital centering around chamber music entitled “Yayoi and Friends” at Carnegie Hall.

2009 was the year for Ms. Toda to expand her career in Asia, performing chamber music concerts and collaborating with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in Shanghai and participating in the Jeju Festival in South Korea. The following year, after giving master classes in the Netherlands and Spain, she toured in Japan as a duet with the pianist Valery Afanassiev. As the year 2013 was the 20th anniversary since her debut, she performed concertos as soloist, duet concerts and solo recitals in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and Fukui. Recently in 2017, she was invited by Akiko Suwanai’s International Music Festival NIPPON and in 2018 she gave a highly acclaimed duet performance with Ryusuke Numajiri at his Omi Spring Classical Festival of the Biwako Hall.

Ms. Toda has released recordings such as “Enesco, J.S. Bach” and “J.S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin BWV1001-1006” from the Ongaku-no-Tomo label. She also recorded albums entitled “Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for Violin Solo”, “RÊVE D’ENFANT” with her favorite short pieces and “20th Century Solo Violin Works” on the EXTON label. Her newest release is “Franck: Violin Sonata, Schumann: Violin Sonata No.2” with the pianist El Bacha.

Ms. Toda has also been invited as a jury member of music competitions inside and outside Japan including the violin portion of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition 2005. She is currently a professor at the College of Music of the Ferris University and an adjunct lecturer at the Toho Gakuen College Music Department.

Official website: yayoi-toda.com