The vibrant pianist Akiko Sasaki’s dynamic performances and detailed instruction have anchored her a prospering position as a concert pianist and music educator in the New York City area. Praised as, “impressively sensitive and interactive,” (City Arts New York), Sasaki has appeared throughout Europe and the United States as soloist and chamber artist.
As a performing artist, Sasaki has collaborated with prominent artists from around the world, including artists from the Metropolitan Opera, Harlem Quartet, and the Grammy winning Pacifica Quartet. She is a member of the Sasaki-Schoen-Rene Duo, Trio Côtier, The Lyra Chamber Music Collective, and the Heaton Sasaki Duo. Sasaki has appeared in venues such as Merkin Concert Hall, Steinway Hall, Yamaha Hall, WQXR’s Greene Space, Roulette, Chandler Center for the Arts, the Newman Center of Performing Arts, and as a winner of New York City’s Artist International competition, she gave her solo debut concert at Carnegie Hall in 2006. Sasaki is also a winner of the Lamont Concerto Competition and Notes at Nine Thousand Emerging Artist competition. Other distinguished accomplishments include winning the Allied Arts Music Award, the Bernstein Crossman Piano Award, the New York City Distinguished Artist Award presented by Mu Phi Epsilon, and being chosen as an artist for Frederic Chiu’s Deeper Piano Studies. As a 2014 winner of the Bettylou Scandling Hubin Award for World Music, Ms. Sasaki presented concerts in 2015 with works by Japanese composers.
Ms. Sasaki is an active and notable music educator. She is a former faculty member of the Kauffman Center’s Lucy Moses School, New York City’s public school for musically gifted children. Currently, she maintains her own studio, Forte>Piano Studio in New York City and Beacon, New York. Sasaki is the founder, faculty, and Executive Director of the Lyra Music Festival and Workshop at Smith College in Northampton, MA. She is also Co-Founder of Musical Explorers, Performing Pianists of New York, and The Beverley Concert Series.
Sasaki received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Denver. Her success in Colorado led her to study abroad as a scholarship student at the Guildhall School of Music in London. There she worked with one of England’s foremost pedagogues, Benjamin Kaplan. She continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Master's degree in Piano Performance. Sasaki’s former instructors include Alice Rybak, Jeffrey Cohen, Jose Mendez, Miyoko Lotto, and Julian Martin.
In addition to Ms. Sasaki’s career as a pianist and music educator, she is also an accomplished kotoist (Japanese zither), having performed at The Rubin Museum, Chelsea Museum, Rutgers University, Stony Brook University, The Stone, New York’s Japan Society, and many Japanese festivals and international cultural events throughout the New England area. She is a member of the Miyabi Ensemble and often performs with Masayo Ishigure, one of the leading koto masters in the United States.