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Tomoko Iguchi, First Violin

Tomoko Iguchi was born in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of 7, Tomoko started taking violin lessons in Mexico City while her family lived there for three years. After her family returned to Japan, she graduated from the Toho High School of Music and from the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, Japan, with a Bachelor of Music degree. She studied with Yuriko Kuronuma and Shizuko Ishii. In 1993, she moved to the United States to join the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla. She has been a member of the Kansas City Symphony since 1995. She has participated in the Evian Music Festival, Pablo Casals Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and she has been joining the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming since 2002. She has frequently performed with the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. She has joined the Solistas Mexico Japon, a chamber orchestra based in Mexico City. In addition to performing with Kansas City Symphony, she performs solo recitals, chamber music and maintains a private studio.

Ten questions about me:

What is your earliest musical memory?

I have lots of fun memories from Mexico where I first started violin lessons. I remember my violin teacher used to do house concerts for students and family. We got together and played violin, ate together and enjoyed each other's company!

How did you choose your instrument?

When I was seven, my parents tried to find something for me to learn. My father was working at the airport in Mexico city at that time. He met my first violin teacher at the airport. That's why I happened to choose the violin.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?

When I was 14 years old. I went to orchestra concert and listened to violin concerto by Tchaikovsky live for the first time. It was very powerful and made me want to become a professional violinist.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

I like performing music because it's consistently a learning experience. I've leaned so much from preparing a program, also from working with my colleagues, conductors and guest artists. I really appreciate our audience in Kansas City. It all makes for a nice atomosphere.

What is the most challenging work for your instrument?

Pieces by Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss have challenging first violin part and they need extra time to prepare. As an orchestra, pieces by Mozart and Schubert are not easy to make ensemble beautifully and together.

What songs/albums are in your iPod/MP3 Player/CD Player right now?

Gospel music, Klezmer music, ABBA, Piazzolla etc...and pieces to prepare for concert.

Who is your most inspiring composer?

J.S. Bach, Dvorak, Brahms and Shostakovich.

What is the best part about being a musician in the Kansas City Symphony?

Growing together as musical family in every way.

What is your most memorable performance with the Kansas City Symphony?

It's very hard to pick one. Most recent one is the Sibelius violin concerto with Hilary Hahn.

Tell us about your family and your hobbies.

My parents and siblings live in Japan. I'm the first and only musician in my entire family. I have five birds at home who constantly enjoy vocalizing. I enjoy going to hike during the summer when I go to Wyoming for a music festival.