Mayu Kishima



… But the finale wrapped everything up very satisfyingly indeed, and Kishima received a huge round of well-deserved applause – one of many to come …



after her debut with London Symphony under M. Rostropovich




Khachaturian Violin Concerto (last movement)

Mayu Kishima, violin.

Tokio Philharmonic. Takaseki Ken, conductor


Shostakovich Violin Concerto nº 1

Mayu Kishima, violin



personal website:



First Prize winner of the First Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition in 2016, Mayu Kishima was born in Kobe, Japan. She began the violin at the age of three.


Kishima has won a large number of prizes in competitions inside and outside Japan. In 2000, she caused a stir in the music world when she took top honors (second prize with no first prize awarded) as the youngest-ever Japanese top prizewinner in the Junior Division of the 8th Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists.


In 2011, she was awarded First Prize, as well as the David Garrett Award for outstanding musical interpretation, in the final round of the International Music Competition Cologne for her performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 2.

In June 2004, Kishima performed with the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Spivakov. Her performance was lauded by a Russian newspaper, which said: “It’s no wonder the great Mstislav Rostropovich calls her ‘the world’s best young violinist.’ She awed the audience with her superb technique and mature understanding of the music.”


In 2005, Kishima performed with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich (Rome and Madrid, February); the National Symphony (Washington, D.C., May); the London Symphony Orchestra (London, June); and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Munich and other locations, July). She was praised by the influential Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, which said: “She was made known to the world by Rostropovich in the same way that Karajan made Anne-Sofie Mutter famous and Maazel made Hilary Hahn famous.”


Kishima has participated in several recordings thus far. On the strong recommendation of Vladimir Ashkenazy, who had become Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, she performed “Tzigane” on Ravel: Orchestral Works, the first recording by Ashkenazy & the NHK Symphony Orchestra (released on Octavia Records in November 2003). She performed with the same conductor and orchestra again in March 2006. In January 2008, Kishima released her solo album Chaconne, and in December 2013 she released the solo album Rise, featuring Sonata No. 1 by Faure. The live recording of her performance at the 2015 Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano was included in the CD Argerich & Friends, which was released on Warner Music in May 2016.


Currently Kishima is based in Cologne and Paris and performs frequently in Europe. She took part in a tour of Germany with the Bonn Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performed with Natalia Gutman in Moscow, with the Novaya Rossiya State Symphony Orchestra in Sochi, and with Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists in Japan; and gave a recital at Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano. She gave passionate performances of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in September 2011 with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in Prague, and in spring 2012 with the Kansai Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras, receiving the acclaim of the orchestras as well as the audiences. In addition to giving a performance in Spain, she participated again in Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, where she performed chamber music with Martha Argerich and many others.


In 2013, Kishima toured in Belgium with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and was re-invited to participate in Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, and to participate in the Bashmet Music Festival in Sochi, among many other projects including a performance with NHK Symphony Orchestra under Sir Roger Norrington. She also performed with Inbal and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra with much success. In 2014 her engagements included a performance in Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, a tour with NHK Symphony Orchestra and Flanders Symphony Orchestra, and a co-performance with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, all of which received high acclaim. In 2015 she carried out an ambitious performance schedule, including participation in the Japan tour of the State Symphony Capella of Russia conducted by Polyansky, concerts with the NHK Symphony conducted by Tan Dun, Tokyo Philharmonic and Osaka Philharmonic orchestras, and chamber music concerts. Once again she was invited to Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano in June of 2016, where she performed with Dong Hyek Lim.


Kishima has received instruction from Izumi Hayashi, Kazuyo Togami, Toshiya Eto, Dorothy DeLay, Masao Kawasaki, Machi Oguri, Chihiro Kudo and others. She passed the audition for and participated in Isaac Stern’s master class at the Miyazaki Music Festival an exceptional three years in a row (1997-1999). She also participated in the Seiji Ozawa Academy in Switzerland in 2008 and 2009. In the spring of 2012 she graduated with a top grade of 1.0 from the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne, where she studied under Zakhar Bron. In the autumn of 2015, she graduated at the top of her class from the graduate school of the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne, with all professors awarding her highest grades, and received Germany’s national qualification for musicians (Konzertexamen certificate).


In 2002, Kishima received a fellowship for overseas study from the Japanese Ministry of Culture. Kishima plays Antonio Stradivarius ex Petri 1700 , kindly loaned by Dr. Ryuji Ueno


Hubay Carmen Fantasy  

Mayu Kishima, violin.