Pianist Yoshie Akimoto, legendary pedagogue who also continues to produce internationally known prodigies, began her career in her native Japan at age 10 when she won the All-Japan NHK Student Competition. At 13, with but three weeks notice to substitute for a major artist, she made her debut with the Osaka Philharmonic giving the Japan Premier of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 415. With no piano score available she composed her own cadenza which stunned the audience. She quickly established herself as a gifted young artist performing concerts throughout Japan and on radio and television. Ms. Akimoto came to the United States for further study at The Juilliard School of Music. James Friskin, who became her first teacher there, wrote of his experience at Miss Akimoto’s entrance exam: “One in particular who stood out in my memory was a student from the Orient. I gave her the highest possible score which was unique in my entire teaching career.” In her first two years at Juilliard she was a winner in the school’s Emperor Concerto competition and took first prize in the International J.S. Bach Competition in Washington D.C. Following the passing of Friskin she resumed her studies with Sascha Gorodnitzky. She further studied and performed under Guido Agosti of the Acadamia Chigiana, Sienna, Italy. Following her schooling she concertized in the U.S., Japan and Europe. Her performances were endowed with passion and intensity and received with great enthusiasm.
As her daughter, Allison Eldredge, emerged as a celebrated internationally known cellist, a unique mother/daughter Duo was born. Their collaboration thrilled recital audiences in concert halls around the globe, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Moscow Conservatory; Queen Elizabeth Hall in London; in Haifa, Israel; Casals Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo; Symphony Hall in Osaka; Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.; Ravinia, Chicago; Royce Hall in Los Angeles; the Cleveland Museum of Art and Symphony Hall in San Francisco. The Duo recorded for Canyon Classics, Denon and RCA labels.
Their radio and television appearances include ABC’s Good Morning America, WQXR Artist Showcase, Boston’s WGBH “Live Performances”, U.S. Cable television stations, NHK radio and televison programs in Japan, and a concert broadcast from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
As an active soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, Miss Akimoto has served as faculty at various music festivals including the Johanessen International Music Festival in British Columbia, the Killington International Music Festival in Vermont, Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, and the Foulger International Music Festival in New Jersey. Miss Akimoto is a frequent guest at universities and conservatories , including The Juiliiard School, for Master Classes and individual coaching. She directs the Akimoto Piano Studio in Southern California, New York, Connecticut and Boston from which many national and international prize winning students have emerged. Her students are accepted each year in prestigious conservatories and universities including Juilliard, Curtis, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and MIT.