When you meet Maiko, ask her… What was it like to record her new CD? Was she involved in tsunami relief efforts? Has she seen any good movies lately?
A native of Chiba, Japan, Maiko Sasaki has performed with prestigious arts organizations throughout the musical spectrum, appearing with The Houston Grand Opera, Da Camera of Houston, Musiqa, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Opera in the Heights, The Texas Repertory Theatre Co., Bayou City Concert Musicals, and Main Street Theater. She is also an active recitalist, and has been invited as a guest artist at Houston’s Japanese Consulate and Houston Young Artist Concerts. In addition, Ms. Sasaki has been featured at the Kennedy Center with The Conservatory Project. Also, she has appeared as a soloist of Concerto works by Alvin Etlar and Carl Nielsen with the Shepherd School Orchestra, and collaborated with Benjamin Kamins in the Richard Strauss’s Duett Concertino.
Also active as a period instrument (five-keyed clarinet) player, Ms. Sasaki has served as principal clarinetist of the Orchestra Symposion, and has toured with Anner Bylsma, and the Bach Collegium Japan. In addition to her passion for classical and romantic repertoire, Ms. Sasaki finds her interests in working with contemporary composers. She has commissioned numerous works by a Japanese composer Kunihiro Kato and these recordings, Suite Nostalgia, Two Clarinet Sonatas, and Adieu Todoroki can be found on the Office Makina label. She also appears on the recording of Society of Composers, Inc. “Musings” published by Capstone Records which features the work of Karim Al-Zand.
Ms. Sasaki has won numerous awards for her work, including first prize in the International Clarinet Association Orchestra Audition Competition, the Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition, and the JILA Music Competition in Tokyo. Ms. Sasaki holds a Master’s degree in music from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and is currently studying for her doctoral degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with Professor Michael Webster. Her doctoral studies have been aided by a scholarship from the Nomura Cultural Foundation and she was awarded a prestigious Presser Award, a grant for musician’s summer project.
Education: BM & MM: Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; currently working on DMA at Rice University.