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Chisako Takashima was born in Tokyo and started playing violin at age six. Graduating from the Toho Gakuen College Music Department, she earned a scholarship to the Graduate Program of Yale University’s Department of Music in 1991. While a Yale scholar, Takashima performed at the Norfolk Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival and the Banff Music Festival, to name but a few.
In 1994, she joined the Miami based New World Symphony orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas, and toured South America, Israel, and Monaco with them. Takashima went on to form a jazz group with some other members of the orchestra in 1996. Playing regularly in the Miami area, they earned an excellent reputation and were frequently featured in local newspapers and on radio.
Takashima released her debut CD in Japan in May 1995, before moving back to Tokyo in March 1997. She currently organizes and performs more than a hundred concerts a year throughout the country. These classical extravaganzas attract large audiences and have earned Takashima and her particular brand of classical music many new fans around the country. Her sense of fun has also made her a popular TV personality.
Though perhaps it’s fair to say that most people see classical music as a form of high-art that requires a special effort to appreciate, Takashima wants to alter that perception so people understand and listen to it as they do pop music. To that end, she has gathered a group of young, talented, like-minded ladies called '12 Violinists' to perform pieces from many different genres.
Takashima's favorite instrument:
'Lucy', a Stradivarius made in 1736.