Meet the Performers

Yui Sakai started learning violin at the age of seven with Suzuki Methods in Japan. She has been actively involved in music, performing at local charity concerts and nursing centers with her fellow musicians since elementary school. She was the president of Suwa Seiryo High School Chamber Music Club in her junior year. Sakai participated in the 34th Junior Classical Music Competition in Japan in 2018, and received the Silver Award in the Senior Violin Section of Nagano Prefecture Finals and the Judges’ Award in the Senior Violin Section at Nationals. She is a Gender Studies and Psychology double major at Mount Holyoke College, and is the current concertmaster of the Mount Holyoke Symphonic Orchestra. 

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Liam Hynes-Tawa is a cellist and composer who recently completed a PhD in music theory at Yale University, and is still currently teaching music theory and music history there. Liam’s dissertation was on the Phrygian mode in late Renaissance and early baroque music, and he has also published articles and presented research on Japanese music theory, mostly from the Meiji Period. Liam has missed performing and writing music in the later years of grad school, and is very grateful for this opportunity to do a bit of both at the BCC!

Kay Tsukamoto is a pianist and violinist from Massachusetts. Tsukamoto started performing at a young age and has performed at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Mildred P. Freiberg Piano Festivals. She won first prize at the 2018 Massachusetts Music Teachers Association Judged Festival, and received the BCC Performance Award in 2018 for playing at BCC for five consecutive years. As a violinist, Tsukamoto has performed at Boston Symphony Hall with the Lexington High School Symphony Orchestra and is currently in the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra. Tsukamoto is an East Asian Studies and Music double major at Mount Holyoke College. She has studied violin with Ariel Horowitz and currently studies with Nurit Pacht.

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A two-time prize winner of the Renée B. Fisher Competition, Chihiro Larissa Tsukamoto has performed at the Haydn Hall of Esterházy Palace in Austria, the Béla Bartók Conservatory in Hungary, the Schumann House in Germany, and Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall in Boston. She received a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and an M.A. in Medieval Icelandic Studies from the University of Iceland. She also studied ballet at Steps on Broadway, percussion at the Manhattan School of Music, and piano at New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, where she is researching music therapy in ancient and medieval Mediterranean civilizations. She has applied her research as a volunteer harpist at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Tsukamoto has been a member of BCC since 2013.