PIANIST. EDUCATOR. IMPROVISOR. COMPOSER.
from Baroque to Contemporary and Jazz
from Baroque to Contemporary and Jazz
Yoshiko Arahata’s multicultural upbringing and perpetual curiosity are reflected in her diverse musical activities and sensitive performances. A versatile pianist in styles ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, Arahata maintains an active musical career as a performer, educator, and composer in a wide range of musical styles, ensemble formations, and broader multi-media collaboration with professionals from outside music fields, from solo and collaborative piano, chamber music, large ensemble, contemporary music, jazz, improvisation, and composition, as well as with dancers and photographers. Arahata was a prize winner at several national and international competitions including Bradshaw and Buono, Los Angeles Liszt, Young Artists Peninsula, Hong Kong Music Festival, and has performed concerti with orchestras as a grand prize winner of Bach Festival and Long Beach Mozart Festival competitions. As a member of the Elgin Trio, she won the Ensemble-in-Residence position for the Music Bus Tour that traveled across Texas. Equally at home in contemporary music, Arahata’s new music engagement highlights include appearances as a featured soloist and a member with the Ossia New Music Ensemble and Music Nova, and working with renowned living composers such as Steve Reich, Aaron Jay Kernis and Wolfgang Rihm.
Her upcoming engagements for the Spring and Summer of 2019 include: invitations to present two of her lecture topics at 2019 International Society for Improvised Music Conference; composing and performing collaborative concert with the University of Rochester Dance Department faculty that addresses social movements; master class piano teaching at the Texas State International Piano Festival; return as a faculty at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp; assisting the organizations of the 2019 National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy as a committee member of improvisation/creativity track; performing a duo recital with Aika Ito, a violinist from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; and performing at the Eastman Summer Institute Trumpet Faculty and Student Recitals as well as at the Orchestra Conducting Fundamentals.
Arahata’s solo performances brought her to several international stages in several states of the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Her solo recitals and performances include AmiCa Associazione musicale internazionale de Calatinoin in Sicily (Italy), Amalfi International Piano Festival (Italy), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), International Piano Academy Moulin d’Andé (France), Ritos Project (Greece), Preston Bradley Hall (Chicago), Roppongi Concert Hall (Japan), and Hong Kong Cultural Centre (Hong Kong). She was also a recipient of numerous honors and performance scholarships including a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Los Angeles for her dedication to music, Thaviu-Isaak Endowed piano Scholarship, Pauline Lundsay Award, Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Scholarship, and full scholarship at Northwestern University.
A sought-after collaborative and chamber musician, Arahata has performed with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists, including the renowned violinist Charles Castleman at the faculty recital of the Quartet Program. She has gained rigorous accompanying and coaching experiences working with diverse array of instrumentalists, classical and musical theater vocalists, choirs, as well as dancers at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, University of Rochester, Monroe Community College, Hochstein School of Music and Dance, and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. During her time in Chicago, she has collaborated especially with brass instrumentalists. Moreover, as an active freelance pianist, she has performed on a wide range of performances from classical and jazz styles to musical theater, dance, cabaret shows, as well as church organ services.
Recently, she performed solo piano in a faculty recital at the Amalfi International Piano Festival in Italy where she also presented a lecture on keyboard literature for collegiate piano students. Moreover, as a winner of the Luminarts Foundation Grant, Arahata presented recitals of all-21st century music program "Music after 2000" for piano-percussion duo, including a world premiere of a commissioned piece with percussionist Joshua Graham in Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, and at the faculty recital of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp where they began their duo collaboration during their summer teaching.
Her chamber music engagements include a fellowship at Young Musicians Foundation National Chamber Music Series, Garth Newel Music Center Chamber Music Festival, Music Teachers Association of California International Chamber Music Series, Sunset Concert Series, and Summer Institute of Chamber Music with American String Teachers Association. Arahata has frequently appeared on several radio broadcasts including k-Mozart 105.1FM, WXXI Classical 91.5, and 90.3 Live from Hochstein Series. Equally active as a pianist of large ensembles, she has served as a principal and associate pianist of various orchestra and contemporary music ensembles at Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University , and Los Angels County High School of Arts, as well as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble. An advocate of contemporary music, Arahata regularly performs works by living composers, has premiered works by Tonia Ko and Sean William Calhoun. Her own works have been premiered at various international venues, such as the Chicago Cultural Center, Amalfi Coast International Piano Festival in Italy, Ritsos Project in Greece, and Women in Music Festival in Rochester, NY.
Arahata's dedication to teaching was prominent from when she was still a graduate teaching instructor of primary and secondary piano at Northwestern University and Eastman School of Music, where she received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Assistant Award. As a studio teaching assistant of Enrico Elisi, she also worked with piano majors and taught a course on keyboard techniques and topography of fingering. Concurrently, Arahata has served as a studio and class piano instructor at the Eastman Community Music School and has maintained a full studio at both the collegiate and community divisions with students ranging from beginning youth to pre-college, collegiate, and retired adults. In addition, she has taught piano master classes at universities, colleges, and summer music festivals in Illinois, Virginia, Missouri, Texas, and New York. She has been a faculty of piano at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp since 2015, where she also teaches daily instruction in music theory, piano ensemble, beginning class piano, and seminar presentations and workshops on topics such as improvisation.
Furthermore, in her ongoing multi-faceted positions as an adjunct and lecturer instructor of vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and ballet and contemporary dance accompanist at the SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, and the University of Rochester, as well as an organist at the Park Presbyterian Church, Arahata has gained unique opportunities to further develop her coaching skill and leadership by working with professionals and students of performance majors other than pianists in comprehensive musical styles and performing arts. As an advocate of community enrichment, she has presented workshops at numerous K-12 schools, universities, community halls, hospitals, retirement homes, cafes, and a prison. Continuously seeking artistic growth and ways to connect with her audience, Arahata actively performs and teaches in traditional and outreach settings.
Arahata’s musical vocabulary is diverse and wide-ranging, from performance practices in Baroque and Classical, to improvisation in Contemporary and Jazz. Beyond performing and teaching, she has also learned jazz composing and arranging from Dariusz Terefenko, Dave Rivello, and Bill Dobbins at Eastman and have composed and arranged for various contexts. Meanwhile, she has explored the historical improvisation and custom of preluding and cadenza, performing her own cadenza for some of Mozart and Beethoven piano concerti. Most recently, she presented a doctoral lecture recital on encouraging classical pianists to compose and improvise using variations, where she demonstrated pedagogical methods to innovate original music using concepts of variations used throughout the western music history as a teaching and composing tool.
Arahata holds degrees in piano performance and brain and cognitive sciences from the Eastman School of Music (B.M., D.M.A.), Northwestern University (M.M.) and University of Rochester (B.S.) where she also studied as a Take Five Scholar in relationships between individual psyches and community health. Her primary instructors and mentors include Barry Snyder, Alan Chow, Enrico Elisi, Dariusz Terefenko, Manami Kawamura and Nobuyo Nishizaka. During her time as a doctoral student of Enrico Elisi, she also served as his studio teaching assistant for three years. She has studied in master classes with pianists including Menahem Pressler, Robert McDonald, Meng-Chieh Liu, Marc Durand, Natalya Antonova, Nelita True, Boris Slutsky, Malcom Bilson, Alexander Kobrin, and Jose Ramos Mendez. She is currently based in Rochester, NY.