“The pianist possesses an exacting facility at the keyboard, playing with a vibrancy not often heard…” (Rochester CITY Newspaper)
A sensitive and versatile pianist in styles ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, Yoshiko Arahata enjoys a multifaceted musical career as an internationally active pianist, collaborative musician, educator, and composer. Top prize winner of national and international competitions including Bradshaw & Buono and Los Angeles Liszt, Arahata’s has performed solo and collaborative recitals at 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). Her concerto appearances span from traditional works by Bach and Beethoven to contemporary ensembles with featured piano parts by Wolfgang Rihm, György Ligeti, Steve Reich, and Aaron Jay Kernis.
A sought-after collaborative and chamber musician, Arahata has performed with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists, including the renowned violinist Charles Castleman, musicians from Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic, percussionist Joshua Graham on “Music after 2000” Midwest tour, Ensemble-in-Residence in Texas as the founding member of Elgin Trio, and artists at the Garth Newel Chamber Music Festival. During the pandemic, Arahata performed and produced a virtual Rochester Fringe Festival show with the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jessica Ann Best featuring a contemporary opera and arts songs. She has also appeared on radio broadcasts including k-Mozart 105.1FM, k-USC 91.5 FM, and WXXI Classical 91.5 FM. Moreover, she has served as a principal and associate pianist of orchestras andcontemporary music ensembles at Eastman, Northwestern, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble.
Dedicated to paving the new music path, Arahata actively performs contemporary and underrepresented music, improvises, and composes in a variety of styles and mediums. Her frequent collaborations with dancers have further enriched her musical and artistic expression. These experiences led her to present her research at the International Society for Improvised Music Conference, NYSMTA/MTNA Symposium, and KU Asian Classical Music Initiatives Conference. Additionally, in the summer of 2022, she launched a summer course “The Pianist’s Guide to Dance Accompaniment” at the Eastman School of Music that guides the pianists to expand the pianists’ musicianship in both interdisciplinary and improvisatory contexts.
Equally committed to education, Arahata has held diverse teaching, coaching, and jazz ensemble director positions and enjoys working with students from a wide range of ages and levels. She has taught at Nazareth College, SUNY Geneseo, Alfred University, Hochstein School of Music, and Eastman School of Music, where she maintained a full studio for both collegiate and community divisions and received the Excellence in Teaching Assistant Award. She also serves on the Creative Music Making committee of the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy and is an active master class teacher and competition adjudicator.
Arahata grew up in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. She holds degrees in Piano Performance at the Eastman School of Music (B.M., D.M.A.) and Northwestern University (M.M.) under the tutelage of Barry Snyder, Alan Chow, and Enrico Elisi,the last of whom she worked as his studio teaching assistant for three years. She is also grateful for the artists who have mentored her musicianship, including Dariusz Terefenko, Jean Barr, Manami Kawamura, and Nobuyo Nishizaka. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Chamber and Collaborative Music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.