New England Conservatory is delighted to announce the appointment of violinist Ayano Ninomiya to the studio faculty, effective September 2015.
Ninomiya’s engagement marks a return to the school where, as a Preparatory student, she received some of her earliest training and a profound immersion in chamber music. Studying with Marylou Speaker Churchill, Hyo Kang, and Michèle Auclair, she was the founding first violinist of the outstanding Amaryllis String Quartet, which also included Mariana Green-Hill, violin; Melissa Reardon, viola; and Wendy Law, cello. Coached by Eugene Lehner, former BSO violist and member of the legendary Kolisch Quartet, the Amaryllis won the 1995 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (junior division) and went on to perform professionally at several summer festivals.
Ninomiya has most recently been serving as Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Beginning with the 2010–2011 season, she has been the first violinist of the Ying Quartet, Eastman’s resident ensemble.
After completing the NEC Prep program, Ninomiya attended Harvard College, where she was awarded the David McCord Prize and won the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra Concerto Competition. She holds a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann. Other important teachers and coaches include Miriam Fried, Robert Levin, Eszter Perenyi, and Andras Keller.
The violinist was a top prizewinner in the Naumburg Competition, the Tibor Varga Competition, the S&R Washington and Lili Boulanger Memorial awards, and Astral Artists' National Auditions. She has built a significant career of recital, concerto, music festival, and chamber music appearances. In addition, she brings her own passionate vision for imaginative programming, collaborative work, and audience engagement initiatives.
Recent solo engagements include a performance of Bartók's Concerto No. 2 with the Civic Symphony of Boston, a TEDx talk at the University of Tokyo, recitals at the National Gallery of Art and at Lincoln Center. She also makes return appearances at the Kingston and Moab festivals and Prussia Cove's Open Chamber Music (UK).
Ninomiya's New York recital at Merkin Concert Hall garnered this praise: “Her technique is equal to all challenges, secure, effortless and unobtrusive; her tone is lovely, pure, and variable in color and intensity” (New York Concert Review). Two pieces from this recital were chosen for broadcast on New York’s WQXR Young Artist Showcase. As one of five soloists for the Young Performers Career Advancement program by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, she performed at their Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall showcase.
Ninomiya’s debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was described as “deeply communicative and engrossing” (The New York Times). Under the auspices of Astral Artists, she had the unique opportunity to lead the Haddonfield Symphony Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and gave her Philadelphia debut recital as well as a recital at the Washington Conservatory. She also performed on Astral’s Rising Stars series at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, with other Astral colleagues at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has performed piano trios with pianist Claude Frank and cellist Clancy Newman.
As the recipient of the 2005 Beebe Fellowship, Ninomiya lived in Budapest, Hungary, where she studied at the Liszt Academy of Music and researched scores at the Bartók Archives. Ninomiya’s recording of the complete works for violin by NEC Prep faculty composer Larry Bell, Book of Moonlight, was listed as one of the Top 10 Classical Recordings of 2003 (Philadelphia’s City Paper). With the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival artists, she recorded Paul Moravec’s Cool Fire and Chamber Symphony for the Naxos label.
In 2007 Ninomiya created several unique lecture-recital programs for Elderhostel and taught eight “Day of Discovery” classes in New York City, upstate New York, and outside of Boston. For these she received stellar written and point evaluations across the board. Stemming from her own experience beginning violin studies in a public school program at the age of seven, she also has a keen interest in giving community and kids' programs wherever her professional concerts take her. Over the years, these opportunities have taken her from Bethlehem, New Hampshire to Columbia, Missouri, to Denton, Maryland, including many occasions in the greater Philadelphia area.
Ninomiya made her debut as soloist on Opening Night of the Boston Pops 1999 season under Keith Lockhart and was praised for her “great sweetness of tone, dazzling bow work, and intensity of expression” (Boston Herald). As the Japan Airlines (JAL) Classic Special New Artist, Ninomiya has given a five-city recital tour of Japan, including a debut recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. Her recital debut at NEC’s Jordan Hall on the BankBoston Emerging Artist Series was described as “technically dazzling, intensely musical, questing in spirit and passionate in expression” (Boston Herald). She has been featured since then on the Rising Stars series at the Ravinia Festival, at the Gardner Museum in Boston, on the Sanibel BigArts Series in Florida, and on the Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago.
Ninomiya has appeared with Musicians from Marlboro on their international and national tours, and has performed with the Young Artists from the Steans Institute of the Ravinia Festival, for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, on New York City’s WQXR, at the Metropolitan Art Museum, Bargemusic, and spent several seasons at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, and Olympic festivals. She is also an active member of the conductorless string ensemble ECCO.
Find further information, check the NEC Website.