Michiaki Ueno

Michiaki Ueno’s eloquent performance and charisma spellbind the audience. He has been praised for his unique yet natural musicality and superlative technique. It is unsurprising that Yo-Yo Ma hailed him as a “fabulous cellist”.

Born in Paraguay in November 1995, Michiaki started his cello study at the age of five in Japan. In 2001 he moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he studied with Iñaki Etxepare. After returning to Japan in 2004, he studied at the Toho Gakuen College Music Department, Soloist Diploma Course with a full scholarship under the tutelage of Hakuro Mohri. In 2015, he moved to Germany, where he studied with Pieter Wispelwey at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. In 2021, he became an artist-in-residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he studies with Gary Hoffman and Jeroen Reuling.

In 2007, at the age of eleven, he gave his first concerto performance at the prestigious Suntory Hall, playing the Lalo Cello Concerto. This later led to his success in becoming the first Japanese to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 2009 at the age of thirteen. A year later, he won the first prize in the Romanian International Music Competition along with the Romanian Embassy Prize and the Romanian Radio Culture Prize. In 2014, he won the first prize in the International Johannes Brahms Competition. His most recent title was the first prize in the Geneva International Music Competition (2021) along with three special awards, including the Young Audience Prize.

He has received masterclasses from Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, Ivan Monighetti, Miklós Perényi, and Jian Wang among many other great maestros. He has been invited to Music Festivals around the world such as the Festival Périgord Noir, Montpellier Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, International Music Festival Nippon, and Takefu International Music Festival. As a soloist, he has performed with numerous orchestras such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, and New Japan Philharmonic among many other orchestras. As a chamber musician, he has shared the stage with artists including Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Jean-Guihen Queryas, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Akiko Suwanai.

Michiaki has received numerous awards such as the “Foundation for Youth Award” (2011), the “Honorable Award” (2015) from the Iwatani Tokiko Foundation, the “Aoyama Music Prize” (2017), the Idemitsu Music Award (2022), the Hotel Okura Music Award (2023), and the Hideo Saito Memorial Award (2023) as a promising rising star. He has been generously supported by the Japan Federation of Musicians, Rohm Music Foundation, Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation, Dr. Sieghardt Rometsch Stiftung, and Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung. Michiaki plays a P.A.Testore cello on loan from the Munetsugu Collection.

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©Seiji Okumiya

©Sihoo Kim