THE FACTS: Born in Tokyo, Japan. Attended
Toho School, Tokyo, and
The Juilliard School. Studied with her
father, cellist Akiyoshi Kudo, Yoritoyo
Inoue, Hakuro Mori, Harvey Shapiro,
and The Juilliard String Quartet. Prior to
the Philharmonic: cellist of the Avalon
String Quartet; taught at Indiana University in
South Bend (2004–06), where the quartet was in residence. Appearances with
Marlboro Music Festival and other venues.
Received Hideo Saito Memorial Fund
Award from the Sony Music Foundation
in 2005; second prize, 62nd Japan Music Competition in 1993. Solo performances with New Japan Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, and others. At the Philharmonic: Joined
in June 2006. Most
recent recording: Love of Beauty (solo CD on
Philips), named Best Recording by Record
EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: My father playing
the cello at home, and my mother singing
and playing the piano. My father was
a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan
Symphony Orchestra; my mother was a
singer and piano teacher. I started playing
the violin at two but I kept imitating the cello. I couldn't understand why I had to put the violin under my chin — I wanted to do the same thing my father was doing with the cello. Finally, on my fourth birthday, they bought me a tiny cello. I remember being very excited.
FIRST PIECE OF MUSIC YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH:
Bartók string quartets. I was in the
fourth grade. I was fascinated
by the rhythm and emotional harmonies. That's when I knew that becoming a musician was what I really wanted to do.
WHO WERE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL
INFLUENCES? My former colleagues in the Avalon String Quartet. I matured so much musically as a quartet cellist before joining the Philharmonic.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH THE ORCHESTRA:
My first day. I was very nervous, but everyone
was very supportive. Also, every summer at Bravo! Vail, Principal Cello Carter Brey hosts a "cello party" for the section, and we have a tradition of celebrating each other's birthdays backstage during intermission. The Philharmonic cello section is the best!
MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Beethoven, Schubert, Messiaen, Bartók, and Dutilleux. Dutilleux's music is beautiful. It makes me think of space, human existence, and ultimate beauty.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? I love walking in Central Park with my beloved pit bull, Cinnamon, a.k.a. Cimanum. I'm also passionate about Japanese food — I am always up for finding great Japanese restaurants and recipes, and I would like to be a great cook one day.
As of November 2013