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Takako Nishizaki (b1944)

As a child, Takako Nishizaki studied with her father, Shinji, the co-founder of the Suzuki Method and with Shinichi Suzuki himself. She was the first student to complete the now famous Suzuki course and was awarded a teacher’s diploma at the tender age of nine.

She started performing in public at age 5 and, before she was 10, had already played for artists such as Isaac Stern and Sir Malcolm Sargent as well as the French author, Georges Duhamel, who wrote about this experience in his book about Japan.

Subsequently, she studied with Broadus Erle and Hideo Saito at Toho Conservatory in Tokyo. In 1962 she went to the United States and first studied with Broadus Erle at Yale and then with Joseph Fuchs at Juilliard. Other teachers at the time included Louis Persinger (sonata classes) and Aldo Parisot (chamber music).

While at Juilliard, Takako Nishizaki was awarded the Fritz Kreisler Scholarship, established by the great violinist himself. Among her sponsors was Alice Tully.

In 1964 she won second prize at the Leventritt International Competition (behind Itzhak Perlman) and in 1969 first prize in the Juilliard Concerto Competition (performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Nobuko Imai).

Concert Career
Her success at the Leventritt International Competition launched her concert career, initially only in the United States but subsequently internationally.



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