“Kaori Yamagami convinced with a diverse richness of sound, temperament and artistic wealth of ideas, as if playing the cello, which she began at the age of three, has already become second nature to her.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
Kaori Yamagami is one of todays most respected and diverse cellists in the music world. She is the winner of the coveted 2011 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. The $25,000 prize is given to one Canadian performer of classical music under the age of 32, who demonstrates outstanding talent and musicianship. Her international prizes amongst others include prizes at both the 1997 and 2005 International Rostropovich Competition in Paris and the 2007 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow.
In season 2012/13, Yamagami’s engagements included being invited back as soloist in a 12-concert tour playing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Klassische Philharmonie Bonn in Germany’s prestigious halls such as “Glocke” Bremen, “Laeiszhalle”Hamburg, and Konzerthaus Berlin. Yamagami was featured in a solo-cello recital as a part of the “Music Toronto” series at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts in Canada, which was followed by high acclaim. She is a regular guest in Japan where she gives concerts at least twice a year. This season, she played a recital tour where she was featured in Nikkei Hall. Besides her pursuits as a soloist and chamber musician, she is the principle cellist in the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. This season she was featured as soloist with the ensemble, taking on the role in the internationally acclaimed work, Upclose, written by the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa. In May 2013, she performed a tour of Israel as soloist with the Israel Simfonietta, finishing the tour as a chamber music guest at the Museum of Art in Tel Aviv.
Season 2013/14 includes solo performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at the Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival in New York, with the Lutoslawski Philharmonic in the opening concert of Musica Elektronica Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, with the Hyogo PAC Orchestra in Japan and with the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra in Helsinki, Finland.
Yamagami is a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she was accepted at the age of 13. Furthermore she is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and received both a Diplom and Konzertexamen degrees with honors from the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, where she studied with Frans Helmerson. Throughout Yamagami’s studies, she was the recipient of full scholarships from the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory and also of Career Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. She is also the recipient of the Beebe Fellowship. In Europe, she has been chosen to play in several festivals and academies including Verbier Festival and Kronberg Chamber Music Connects the World where she performed chamber music with Gidon Kremer, Eduard Brunner and Yuri Bashmet.
Kaori is also active in the pedagogical world of music. She has been invited to coach chamber music for two consecutive years at the Kronberg Academy’s “Musik Miteinander” in Germany. She also assisted Prof. Frans Helmerson in the final years of her studies.
Yamagami plays on the 1682 Giovanni Grancino cello kindly on loan to her by a private sponsor in Japan.