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Reiko Otani (Violin)
Born in Osaka, Japanese violinist Reiko Otani studied at the Toho-Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo with Toshiya Eto and Koichiro Harada. She studied with Igor Oistrakh at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels in 1996-2002 with a grant from the Japanese government. There she has received the highest Masters degree with the "greatest distinction" in 1998.
She won 1st prize at the Japan Music Competition in 1993. In 1996, she won the 2nd prize (no 1st prize winner) at the Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland. She is also a laureate of many of the most prestigious international competitions such as Spohr (Freiburg), Tokyo, Queen Elisabeth (Brussels), Hannover and Sibelius (Helsinki).
Miss Reiko Otani performs frequently as a soloist and a chamber musician in Japan and abroad. Performing extensively in her native country, she has performed as a soloist with many orchestras such as the Tokyo Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic, the Kansai Philharmonic, the Kyoto Symphony, the Kyushu Symphony, the Osaka Philharmonic, the Sendai Philharmonic, the Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka, the Osaka Century Orchestra and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra. In addition to concerts, she has also performed in many radio and television broadcasts in Japan, performing on radio programs such as NHK-FM Recital. In addition, she has had the honor of performing for the Japanese Imperial Family at Tokagakudo Hall in the Imperial Palace.
Miss Otani's international career has led her to perform extensively in Europe as well. Ever since her sensational debut in Warsaw Philharmonic hall in Poland, in November of 1996, she has made numerous tours of Poland, performing with most major Polish orchestras as well as giving recitals, including performances with the Sinfonia Varsovia under the direction of the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin and recital at the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki. Her performances have been broadcast on national Polish television and radio as well. In 1999, she won the concerto competition at the International Salzburg Summer Academy, and performed Mozart's Violin Concerto K. 219 with the Camerata Lysy under the auspices of the prestigious Salzburg Music Festival. In 2000, under the baton of Philippe Entremont, she performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Holland Chamber Orchestra in the main hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In the United States, she was invited to perform at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Summerfest. She gave recitals in St Petersburg in Russia and in Tallinn in Estonia in March 2002.
Her performance of Berg's Violin Concerto with the Kansai Philharmonic in Osaka under the baton of Tetsuro Ban in June 2001 was hailed as ". . . a spectacular performance that melted away any resistance one might have had toward modern music." (Ongaku Gendai Magazine). This success has led to numerous concert engagements as a soloist with orchestras in Japan, including the performance of Brahms' concerto under the baton of Tetsuro Ban with Kansai Philharmonic in 2002. In 2001, she founded Piano Quartet "Opus 1", and made their sensational debut concerts in Tokyo and Osaka in 2002.
In 2002, Miss Otani was awarded three awards for her active and high-leveled concert performances; the "Music Critic Club Award" presented by music critics in Japan, "Sakuya Konohana Prize" presented by the city of Osaka as the most promising young artist, and "ABC Music Award - Crystal Prize" from ABC Music Foundation.
In 2004, she held a recital of Ysaye's Six Solo Sonatas in Osaka which was chosen as "best 10 concerts in Japan 2004" in the "Ongaku-no-tomo" magazine. In 2005, she performed Mozart's Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Hungary She was heard at the Subscription concerts of the Tokyo City Philharmonic (Sibelius' Concerto) and the Osaka Century Orchestra (Tchaikovsky's Concerto), and also with the Osaka Sinfoniker, the Kansai Philharmonic, the Kyoto Philharmonic and the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestras. Her piano quartet "Opus 1" was invited to play in the "B to C (Bach to Contemporary)" concert series at the Tokyo Opera City Hall.
In 2006, she will perform as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the subscription concert of the Kansai Philharmonic, and also with the Sendai Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, her newly founded piano quintet "Ensemble Premier" with Walter Kussner, a violist of the Berlin Philharmonic, will have a concert in Osaka.
She is a member of the Saito-Kinen Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa, and appears the Saito-Kinen Festival in Matsumoto for one month every summer since 2001. In 2004, she participated in the European Tour of the Saito-Kinen Orchestra, and performed in the prestigious concert halls in the six countries such as Berlin Philharmonic Hall and Musikferein in Vienna.
Currently she is on the faculty of the Kyoto City University of Arts and the Soai University in Osaka.
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