Mariko Anraku, harp
Mariko Anraku has won attention as one of the world’s outstanding harpists through numerous appearances as soloist and chamber musician. She has enchanted audiences with her virtuosity and “manifestation of grace and elegance” (Jerusalem Post). The New York Times has hailed her as a “masterful artist of intelligence and wit.” Since 1995, she has held the position of Associate Principal Harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Since her debut as soloist with the Toronto Symphony led by Sir Andrew Davis, Ms. Anraku has appeared with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, among others. As a recitalist, she has performed in major concert halls on three continents, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum, Opera Comique in Paris, Palazzo dell’Esposizioni in Rome, and the Casals, Kioi, and Oji Halls in Tokyo.
Ms. Anraku’s impressive list of awards includes the Pro Musicis International Award, First Prize at the First Nippon International Harp Competition, First Prize in the Channel Classics Recording Prize, and the ITT Corporation Prizes at the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York. She was also awarded Third Prize and the Pearl Chertok Prize for the best performance of the required Israeli composition at the International Harp Contest in Israel. Ms. Anraku’s strong commitment to contemporary music and the expansion of the boundaries of the harp repertoire has included an invitation to premiere works by Toshio Hosokawa in Germany collaborating with traditional Japanese musicians and monks. She also gave the USA premiere of Jean-Michel Damase’s Concerto “Ballade” with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra at the American Harp Society Conference, and has collaborated in a tribute to Takemitsu at Merkin Concert Hall in New York.
Mariko Anraku has recorded exclusively for EMI Classics, including three solo recordings and a CD with eminent flutist Emmanuel Pahud. A compilation from her solo CDs has also been released. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School and is a recipient of an Artist’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Her teachers have included Nancy Allen, Lanalee deKant, Judy Loman, and her aunt, Kumiko Inoue. Ms. Anraku also studied Oriental Art History at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. She has been on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival since 2011.