Violinist Akemi Takayama is an associate professor at the Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music where she holds the Victor Brown Endowed Chair. She has also served as the concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra since 2004 and Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra since 2007. Ms. Takayama appears regularly as soloist and concertmaster of the RSO, and WSO as well as an active chamber musician and . She was also invited to teach at Oberlin College throughout the Fall of 2012 during which time she was on a brief RSO sabbatical. Ms. Takayama was a member of the internationally renowned Audubon Quartet for fourteen years while the group toured regionally and nationally. Her recordings with the Audubon Quartet include four CDs, all available on the Centaur and Composers Recordings labels.
Born to musical parents in Tokyo, Japan, Takayama began her violin studies with her mother at the age of three. Her professional violin career began in Japan at the age of 15. She has performed throughout Japan, France, and the U.S., including appearances with the Shinsei-Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toho School of Music Orchestra, and on a “FM Recital” broadcast throughout Japan on NHK Radio. She also has performed with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the Yomiuri Philharmonic Orchestra, Music at Gretna, and with the New World Symphony Orchestra. Her solo performances in the U.S. have included radio and TV appearances in the greater Cleveland area and with the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Junction Orchestra, and the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra.
Akemi Takayama’s recent solo performances with orchestras include Barber Violin Concerto, Midkiff’s Double Concerto, Daugherty’s Fire and Blood and Ladder to the Moon, Mendelssohn Double Concerto, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Pärt’s Fratres, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and Brahms’s Double Concerto for violin and cello, Mozart’s Violin Concerto, Symphonia Concertante, Bach Concerto, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and Roskott’s Violin Concerto. She has performed at and served on the faculties of the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Idyllwild School of the Arts in California, the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Shenandoah Performs in Virginia and at Virginia Tech. During her graduate studies, Akemi was a teaching assistant to the renowned Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned both an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree. Previously, she studied with Toshiya Eto and Ryosaku Kubota at the renowned Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where she earned her bachelor degree in music performance. She also studied with Brian Hanly at the University of Wyoming where she earned her professional studies degree. Ms. Takayama won a position in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival and the Isaac Stern Music Workshop. The late Isaac Stern said of Ms. Takayama “she is a true musician and will always bring credit to any group that she works with.”
Akemi has been delighted to serve on the Advisory Board for Center for Public Service and Scholarship Advisory Board led by Karen Schultz at Shenandoah University.