Biography: Koko Watanabe


Koko Watanabe is a passionate Japanese violinist who loves to share an excitement of making music with everyone. She has given orchestral, recital and chamber music performances in the U.S. and Japan. Currently, she performs with the Alabama Symphony and Canton Symphony. Ms. Watanabe recently finished her Artist Diploma in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with William Preucil and Stephen Rose, the concertmaster and principal second violinist of The Cleveland Orchestra. Before moving to Cleveland, Koko studied with Emanuel Borok at Southern Methodist University, where she held an Artist Certificate on full scholarship, and won second prize in the concerto competition. While in Japan, Ms. Watanabe earned her Master of Music degree at Toho Conservatory and her Bachelor of Music degree at the Tokyo College of Music, where she studied with Hamao Fujiwara. She also won the Great Wall International Music Competition and her graduate school concerto competition, and she performed with the Toho Academy Orchestra. She attended Pacific Music Festival in Japan in 2007, and Music Academy of the West in 2012-13 in Santa Barbara, California, where she served as concertmistress under Tito Munoz and James Gaffigan. As a chamber musician, Ms. Watanabe has participated in CIM’s Intensive Quartet Seminar, where she worked with Peter Salaff and the Cavani String Quartet. She has also participated in masterclasses with ALBERS Trio, Tokyo String Quartet, Takács String Quartet, Cuarteto Casals and Juilliard String Quartet. A committed teacher, Ms. Watanabe has a private studio and teaches at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, and was a member of the violin faculty at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in 2014 and 2015.

Koko Watanabe