Fudeko Takahashi Cohler was the first Japanese citizen ever to receive a top prize from an international competition without studying outside of Japan capturing the award at the International Paganini Competition at the age of 18. After she graduated from Toho College of Music in Tokyo, Japan, she studied at NEC and Juilliard with Dorothy Delay. Ms. Takahashi taught for four years at the Aspen Music Festival as an assistant to Dorothy Delay, the renowned teacher of Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Midori and many others.
Since joining the faculty of NEC in 1981, Ms. Takahashi has taught many young talented violinists. Her students include the concertmistress of the National Symphony Orchestra, members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, concertmistress of the New York Ballet, and winners of the Wieniawski International Competition and the Avery Fisher Career Grant among many others. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts has awarded Ms. Takahashi the special Teacher Recognition Award on many occasions for having taught students who were recognized at the national level for their exceptional artistic achievements.
Ms. Takahashi received her early musical training in Japan. She studied violin first with Hirotsugu Shinozaki and Koichi Hasegawa. After winning First Prizes in the All-Japan Student Music Competition in both the Elementary and Middle School Divisions, she studied with renowned pedagogue Saburo Sumi at Toho Music High School and subsequently Toho College of Music in Tokyo.
As a result of winning the Special Prize of Japan's International Representative Competition, Ms. Takahashi was sponsored by the government of Japan to compete in the Nicolo Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy. Her success at the Paganini competition made her the first Japanese citizen ever to win a top prize at an international competition without having previously studied abroad.
After graduating with the First Prize from Toho College of Music, Takahashi won the Seiji Ozawa fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center and came to study in the United States with Dorothy Delay. She won the Pierre Mayer Award for outstanding violinist of the Tanglewood Music Center, and was concertmistress there under both Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.
She received the Artist Diploma from NEC under Dorothy Delay and continued in the Professional Studies program with Ms. Delay at the Juilliard School. Ms. Takahashi has also played in lessons and masterclasses for numerous famous violinists including Leonid Kogan (Moscow Conservatory), Yehudi Menuhin, Josef Gingold, Pinchas Zukerman, Gabriel Builon, Pierre Jari, and Michelle Auclair (Paris Conservatory).
After receiving her Artist Diploma, Takahashi became a teaching assistant for Ms. Delay at the Aspen Music Festival and joined NEC's Preparatory School faculty as Ms. Delay's assistant.
Fudeko Takahashi is the former concertmistress of both the Boston Civic Symphony and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. She is also a former Artist in Residence at the Gardner Museum. She is married to clarinetist and conductor Jonathan Cohler who was a member of the NEC Preparatory School clarinet and chamber music faculty for 29 years, and Assistant Conductor of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Her son Yuga Cohler is an alumnus of the NEC Preparatory School and YPO.
Professional Studies with Dorothy Delay (The Juilliard School); Artist Diploma (NEC); B.M. with highest honors (Toho Gakuen School of Music).