Born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Kumiko Sakamoto is a devoted performer, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Her commitment to fostering human connection through art has led Kumiko to pursue a richly diverse career as a violinist, vocalist, and chamber musician. A passionate collaborator, Kumiko has performed alongside members of the Emerson, Kronos, St. Lawrence, and Borromeo quartets, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, Eighth Blackbird, Leila Josefowicz, and Lawrence Power. Kumiko is an award-winning soloist, and has performed across France, Italy, and Poland, including performances at La Fenice in Venice, and St. Sulpice in Paris. Her debut album, featuring the first recordings of the works of composer Gino Gorini, was released under the Tactus (Naxos) label in 2015.
Kumiko’s passion for the arts extends to voice, dance, and musical theatre, each of which she has studied for many years and won many awards, including top prizes at the Alberta Provincial Music Festival, and the Canadian National Music Festival. Kumiko’s love for voice led her to pursue conservatory training as a coloratura soprano and she received two minors in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Pamela Fry. During her time in San Francisco, she was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Kumiko has premiered a number of new works for voice, including an upcoming piece for string quartet and soprano that will be premiered in the 21/22 season.
Kumiko received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, studying violin with Ian Swensen and voice with Pamela Fry. She received an Artist Certificate in Chamber Music at the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer of the Miró Quartet. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland where the Thalea String Quartet holds the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet position.
A dancer for most of her life, Kumiko still enjoys attending ballet classes in her spare time, as well as cooking healthy meals and baking for her friends and family.