Natsuki Kumagai joined the Minnesota Orchestra second violin section in the 2017-18 season and won a position in the first violin section in 2019. Born and raised in Chicago, she has served in numerous concertmaster positions at orchestras including the New World Symphony, New York String Orchestra Seminar, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, where she was awarded the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize. She was also a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. She is an active chamber musician, winning prizes at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Saint Paul Chamber Music Competition and Society of American Musicians Competition. She was a member of the New Fromm Players, the quartet-in-residence for contemporary music at the Tanglewood Institute, performing world and U.S. premieres of works by world-renowned composers Marc Neikrug and Joseph Phibbs.
Kumagai attended the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied with Boston Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Malcolm Lowe. Her previous teachers include Almita and Roland Vamos and Marko Dreher at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program. She received her master’s degree at the Juilliard School studying with Ida Kavafian and was the recipient of the H. & E. Kivekas Scholarship and the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship.