Reiko Otani

Reiko Otani in 1996 - before and during 11th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition.                                                                 

Top prize winner of Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland, in 1996, Reiko Otani performs frequently as soloist and chamber musician in Japan and abroad.

Reiko Otani (Japan) - Henryk Wieniawski - Caprice Le Chant de Bivouac Op. 10 No. 8.mp3 3.63 MB

Reiko Otani (Japan) - Henryk Wieniawski - Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 14, I. Allegro moderato - Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Grzegorz Nowak.mp3 14.28 MB

Rec. competition presentations (1996).

Her recent CD recordings Eugéne Ysaÿe. Six Sonatas for Violin Solo (2008) and Polonaise! Selected Violin Pieces of Poland (2011), were highly acclaimed and rated “Specially Selected Disc” by “Record Geijutsu” and “Ongaku Gendai” magazines.

Born in Osaka, the Japanese violinist studied at the Toho-Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo with Toshiya Eto and Koichiro Harada. Holder of a grant from the Japanese government, she also studied with Igor Oistrakh at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels in 1996-2002. There she was conferred Masters degree with highest distinction in 1998. She has also studied with many great violinists such as Herman Krebbers, Yfrah Neaman, Ruggiero Ricci, Franco Gulli, Ida Haendel, Igor Ozim, Krzysztof Węgrzyn and Ana Chumachenko.

Reiko Otani won the 1st prize at the Japan Music Competition in 1993. In 1996, at the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland, she won the top prize (2nd, as the 1st was not awarded), as well as special prizes for the best performance of a Wieniawski concerto, best performance of a sonata, and best performance of a Wieniawski polonaise. She is also laureate of several most prestigious international competitions, such as Spohr (Freiburg), Tokyo, Queen Elisabeth (Brussels), Hannover, and Sibelius (Helsinki).

Her international career has led her to perform extensively throughout Europe. Following her sensational debut at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall in 1996, she has made numerous tours of Poland, performing with the majority of leading Polish orchestras (including performances with the Sinfonia Varsovia under direction of the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin), as well as giving recitals (incl. an appearance at the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki). Her performances have been broadcast on national Polish radio and television. She has given concerts under the auspices of the prestigious Salzburg Music Festival, and performed with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Philippe Entremont 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 has given recitals in Russia (St. Petersburg), Estonia (Tallinn), and many other countries in Europe and Asia, as well as in the United States.

Reiko Otani in 2011.

Performing extensively in her native country, Reiko Otani has played as soloist with such orchestras, 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. Her 2001 performance of Berg’s Violin Concerto with the Kansai Philharmonic in Osaka under Tetsuro Ban was hailed as "a spectacular performance that melted away any reserve to modern music one might display." (“Ongaku Gendai” magazine). In addition to concerts, she has also performed on several radio and television programmes in Japan. She has had the honour of performing for the Japanese Imperial Family at the Imperial Palace’s Tokagakudo Hall.

In 2002, Otani was awarded three prizes for her high-level concert activity: the Music Critic Club Award presented by Japanese music critics, the Sakuya Konohana Prize awarded by the city of Osaka, and the ABC Music Award-Crystal Prize from ABC Music Foundation. Her recital of Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatasfor Violin Solo in Osaka in 2004 was acclaimed as “one of the best 10 concerts in Japan in 2004” by “Ongaku-no-tomo” magazine.

Her most recent appearances include performances with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Hungary, subscription concerts at the Tokyo City Philharmonic, as well as appearances with the Osaka Century Orchestra, and the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also performed with the Osaka Sinfoniker, the Kyoto Symphony, the Osaka Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic (broadcast on NHK-FM), the Sendai Philharmonic, the Kyoto Philharmonic, the Central Aichi Symphony, the Kyoto Philharmonic Chamber, the Gunma Symphony Orchestras and others.

Member of the Saito-Kinen Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa, since 2001 she has held annual monthly appearances at the Saito-Kinen Festival in Matsumoto. She took part in the European (2004), American (2010) and Chinese tours (2011) of the Saito-Kinen Orchestra, and has performed at prestigious concert halls, incl. the Berlin Philharmonic, the Musikferein in Vienna, and New York’s Carnegie Hall (three concerts).

She has been invited to sit on the jury of the 5th David Oistrakh International Violin Competition in Moscow in 2013.

Currently, Reiko Otani is on the faculty of Kyoto City University of Arts and the Soai University in Osaka.

Reiko Otani’s official website:

 (May 2012)