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Meet the Performers

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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.

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Yoko Schwarz resides and teaches piano in Lexington, Massachusetts. Born in Tokyo, she began playing piano at the age of three. After graduating from Toho Music School, she earned her B.A. degree at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique and Dance de Paris. Schwarz has performed in nationally broadcast festivals in the United States, Europe and Japan, including the Aspen Music Festival, the William Kapell, Lugano, Delemont, Noyer-sur-Serein, the KMF Music Festival and the International Rachmaninoff Musical Festival. Today, she regularly accompanies local musicians, performs in recitals. Also she is a member of the Lexington Music Club and New England Piano Teachers’ Association. Schwarz has been a member of BCC since 2013.

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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.

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Pianist Akiko Tsukamoto is an active solo, collaborated in chamber music and piano duo musician. She came to the U.S. in 1999 and attended the Yale University School of Music. A winner of the Nishinihon International Music Competition, she has performed and collaborated with members of the Kyushu Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, Akiko has been an enthusiastic music educator. Currently, she maintains private piano studio in Watertown, MA where she enjoys teaching with both children and adults. She is a member of the MMTA, MTNA, and the Lexington Music Club.  Akiko graduated from the Toho Gakuen School of Music. She is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a member of the AmSAT. Akiko is the President and Executive Director of the Boston Charity Concert since 2013. Akiko also has a Youtube channel, follow her at akkottopiano.

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