Violin SUWANAI Akiko


Praised by The Times for her “noble playing, with its rhythmic life, taut and rigorous,” Akiko Suwanai is the youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and now enjoys a prestigious international career.

Recent performances have included concerts with the BBC Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic (Vassily Petrenko), Danish National Symphony and Vancouver Symphony orchestras and she has toured with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Sir Antonio Pappano). Suwanai also took part in the Bergen International Festival, performing with Leif Ove Andsnes.Conductor collaborations include Sir Andrew Davis, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, David Robertson, Susanna Mälkki, Neeme Järvi, Sakari Oramo and Seiji Ozawa.

Highlights of the 2015/16 season include performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra (Tugan Sokhiev), The Philadelphia Orchestra (Pablo Heras-Casado), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hannu Lintu) and Gürzenich-Orchester Köln (Francois-Xavier Roth). Additionally, she will tour Japan with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Yuri Temirkanov), and in China with NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tan Dun). Further ahead Suwanai will perform with the Bamberger Symphoniker (Herbert Blomstedt). Previously she has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra (Valery Gergiev), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris (Paavo Järvi). 

Suwanai is Artistic Director of the International Music Festival NIPPON, which she launched in 2012. The 2014 festival saw her give the world premiere of Karol Beffa’s Violin Concerto with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Paavo Järvi), along with chamber music, masterclasses and charity concerts for the Great East Japan Earthquake. At previous festivals she has performed the Japanese premiere of Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer and the world premiere of Eric Tanguy’s In a Dream with pianist Akira Eguchi.

With a broad repertoire ranging from Bach to contemporary composers, Suwanai performed the world premiere of Peter Eötvös' Violin Concerto Seven at the Lucerne Festival with the Festival Academy Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez.She premiered this work in Gothenburg, Budapest, Berlin, Tokyo, Toronto and at the BBC Proms conducted by Eötvös.She also performed the Japan premiere of James MacMillan’s Violin Concerto with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 2012. Suwanai’s extensive discography with Universal Music has garnered much critical acclaim and her most recent release is a recital disc with pianist Itamar Golan, entitled Emotion.

Akiko Suwanai has won numerous prizes and awards including the International Paganini Competition in Italy and the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. She studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music with Toshiya Eto, at Columbia University and the Juilliard School of Music with Dorothy DeLay and Cho-Liang Lin, and also at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin with Uwe-Martin Haiberg. She now lives in Paris.

Akiko Suwanai performs on the Stradivarius ‘Dolphin’ violin from 1714, one of the most famous violins known today and previously owned by Jascha Heifetz, which has been kindly loaned to her by the Nippon Music Foundation.