Meet the Performers

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Akino Watanabe is a software engineering intern at Intel Corporation and is expected to graduate from the University of Toronto (machine intelligence major) in 2022. She is an Engineering International Scholar and the Sponsorship Director for her club. She plays the Japanese zither and reached the first of the professional levels during high school. She has been studying koto in Japan since 2011 at her junior high school. After moving to the US, she has studied under Ms. Sumie Kaneko, a professional koto and shamisen (a three-stringed instrument) performer, and Dr. Cathleen Ayakano Read, a koto instructor and an apprentice of the legendary National Living Treasure of Japan, Kin’ichi Nakanoshima. Akino and Yoshino play 17th century through contemporary instrumental and vocal music, performing solo recitals and lecture demonstrations on stage with her teachers and professional musicians.

Yoshino has been playing the Japanese zither (koto) since she was five. Yoshino and her sister, Akino, were TEDx performers in 2016. Their audience includes the Consulate General of Japan and universities such as UCSD, Harvard, Tufts, and Wellesley. Frequently, they perform well-known duets for museums, hospitals, and senior centers in the US and Japan. Recently, Yoshino, a freshman in high school in San Diego, has been selected to be a member of the 2021 Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots U.S. National Youth Leadership Council to serve as the youth voice of the Jane Goodall Institute across the country and globally to create positive change on behalf of people, other animals, and the environment. Yoyo is passionate about social justice, animal protection, and supporting children. One of her projects, “Music for Peace,” aims to bring peace and healing to people around the world through her YouTube channel.


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Emma Atwood began her violin studies in 2003 at five years old. From an early age, she was involved in the music community, attending summer music festivals such as Ogontz Suzuki Institute, Greenwood Music Camp, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. During her academic years, Atwood performed in chamber ensembles with the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Lexington Chamber Music Center, and the Lexington Musical Outreach Collaboration. As part of her chamber music studies, she also learned to play viola and performed on both instruments as needed. Aside from chamber music, Atwood’s orchestral experiences include performances with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Civic Symphony, the Northeastern Senior Districts Festival, the MA All-State Orchestra, and the NafME Eastern Division Conference.    Atwood’s main focus was on solo performance, however, and from 2011-2014, she received First Class Honors on the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory: The Achievement Program’s Grades 8-10 Performance Examinations. She also placed third in the 2015 MMTA Bay State Competition and has performed multiple full-length solo concerts. Atwood continued studying music in college, even learning beginner cello and piano, and graduated from Mount Holyoke College (2020) with a major in psychology and a minor in music. 

Kay Tsukamoto is a pianist and violinist located in Massachusetts. She began studying piano when she was six years old and started learning violin at nine years old. Tsukamoto started performing at a young age and has performed at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Mildred P. Freiberg Piano Festivals. She also performed at the 2017 Massachusetts Music Teachers Association Judged Festival and placed first in the 2018 MMTA Judged Festival. She also received the Boston Charity Concert Performance Award in 2018 for participating for five consecutive years. As a violinist, Tsukamoto has performed at the Boston Symphony Hall with the Lexington High School Symphony Orchestra. Tsukamoto is an East Asian Studies and Music double major at Mount Holyoke College. She currently studies violin with Professor Ariel Horowitz and is in the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra. Listen to more of her playing at Pianoviolin.

Born in Osaka, Japan, Yoko Igarashi completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Boston University in Collaborative Piano where she was given full scholarship. Prior to her study at BU, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Piano Performance at The Frederic Chopin Academy in Warsaw, Poland, Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying at San Francisco Conservatory, and Graduate Diploma degree in Collaborative Piano at New England Conservatory. During her studies at NEC and BU, she began working as a ballet pianist at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA. Upon graduating from BU, she has joined Boston Ballet School as a full-time pianist. Besides working at BBS, she is also a staff pianist at New England Conservatory of Music and maintains a private piano studio in Boston. Igarashi has been a member of the BCC since 2011.

Sanae Koinuma performs as a soloist, accompanist, and collaborator in different chamber ensembles. She performs at a variety of concerts including a faculty recital at Longy School of Music of Bard College. She is passionately teaches students at a private studio in Lexington, teaching about 20 students. She is a member of Music Teachers National Association and Massachusetts Music Teachers Association. Her students have received awards of recognition in many competitions. Currently, she is a trainee of Andover Educations, studying body mapping for musicians. She received a Master’s degree in Music from Longy School of Music in Boston where Victor Rosenbaum and Robert Merfeld coach. She worked with Dr. Margaret Evans at Meredith College in North Carolina.  She received a Bachelor's degree in Music from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo where Kyoko Okayama coaches. Sanae joined BCC in 2016.