famous former suzuki students


said: Jun 14, 2006
 1 posts

I am doing some research for a grad school project, and I wanted to talk about how many professional musicians these days actually started in a Suzuki program. Unfortunately, I don’t know very many names. These are the ones I have so far:

William Preucil, Jr.
Rachel Barton
Jennifer Koh
Nickolas Kendall
James Stern
Frank Almond
Brian Lewis
David Perry
Rebecca McFaul and Russel Falstad of the Fry Street Quartet

Any others???

said: Jun 14, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
120 posts

Don’t forget Brian Lewis, son of Alice Joy Lewis.

said: Jun 14, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
120 posts

Oops, I guess you’ve already got him down. Can’t believe I missed him in your list. :)

Nobuaki said: Jun 14, 2006
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

There are many orchestra members who are suzuki students. But we need to define meaning of “suzuki student”. many students in this country started suzuki method, but changed to a different teacher. Some teachers use suzuki books, but not using a suzuki philosophy.

Some students told that they did suzuki method. But students quality were very bad. so I don’t know we can that students suzuki .

said: Jun 14, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
120 posts

I think it is a “given” that if a student started with a “traditional” Suzuki approach than they are considered a former Suzuki student even if they moved on to other teachers as they become more advanced. The question posed implies that she is looking for famous people who started out in “traditional” Suzuki instruction, not people who were raised just using the books and not the philosophy. I don’t think we really need a definition.

said: Jun 14, 2006
 104 posts

Hilary Hahn and Leila Josefewicz both started in Suzuki programs.

Corinne said: Jun 14, 2006
 44 posts

The 5 browns were Suzuki students. http://www.the5browns.com

Jennifer said: Jun 15, 2006
Jennifer Moberg PforteViolin, Viola
Islamabad`, Pakistan
71 posts

and of course sarah jessica parker… she started off in a suzuki program in ohio!

“Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.”


said: Jun 24, 2006
 22 posts

Bonnie Terry, Rebecca Moench, and Jessica Guideri (all violinists)

“Practice! Practice until you go crazy….then do it five more times.”

Eve Weiss said: Jul 7, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
16 posts

Regina Carter
Colin Jacobsen

Nobuaki said: Jul 21, 2006
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

The question is:

  1. how many of them did all suzuki books?

  2. Why some performers decide to change teachers other than suzuki?

said: Jul 22, 2006
 22 posts

I know for sure that Brian, Nick, Rebecca McFaul, Jessica Guideri (also formerly of the Fry Street Quartet), Bonnie, and Rebecca M. went through all of the suzuki books….I think why some students after doing the books switch to non-suzuki is so they can help their own playing personality grow. I think sometimes it’s hard when you have so many group classes/performances to realize your own talent and solo playing ability. (that’s how a wise man explained it to me,anyway)

“Practice! Practice until you go crazy….then do it five more times.”

Ashley said: Nov 10, 2006
 Violin, Suzuki in the Schools
23 posts

Does anyone know if Joshua Bell started in a Suzuki Program? I am really interested to hear about all of these famous former Suzuki Students!

Kelly Williamson said: Nov 10, 2006
Kelly WilliamsonTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Flute, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Cambridge, ON
318 posts

I believe Lara and Scott St John (violin) were former Suzuki students, and also Shauna Rolston (cello). Certainly I have read that the St Johns started when the Suzuki method came to London, Ontario.


Jennifer Gray said: Nov 10, 2006
Jennifer Gray
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
28 posts

I’m pretty sure Joshua Bell started with Mimi Zweig, who although influenced by Suzuki is not strictly a “Suzuki” teacher and who has her own progression of pieces studies etc.

Melissa said: Nov 10, 2006
 151 posts

Seizo Azuma (piano)

Debbie said: Nov 10, 2006
Debbie Mi138 posts

Jennifer Koh started as a Suzuki student.

Stephen said: Dec 2, 2006
 6 posts

More for your list.

Nicola Benedetti
The pianist from ‘Trio Ondine’
Marie -Anne Thorsen, violinist with the ‘Nash Ensemble’ and the ‘Leopold Trio’

Jazz violinist Chris Garrick

Alicia Keys?

Jayana Pyant said: Oct 19, 2015
Jayana Pyant
Suzuki Association Member
2 posts

Do they have to be from America? I know of Arabella Steinbacher from Germany also studies suzuki method

Anne Brennand said: Oct 20, 2015
Anne Brennand
Suzuki Association Member
Cello, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Boulder, CO
55 posts

Hi. Albers String Trio (www.alberstrio.com): Julie, Rebecca, and Laura. —Anne

Anne Brennand, cellist and cello teacher

Jayana Pyant said: Oct 23, 2015
Jayana Pyant
Suzuki Association Member
2 posts

You are right Stephen, Alicia Keys did study suzuki. She confirmed in this interview:


Interviewer: The piano is a serious instrument, so you must have been very committed to learning how to play.

AK: I studied privately when I was young, and I did study classical. I studied with the whole Suzuki method. It was a very rigorous, rigid Japanese method. And I think that obviously it was definitely hard for me sometimes to like some of the great composers.

Lucy Shaw said: Oct 25, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
50 posts

Excerpted from her bio…

Caroline Adelaide Shaw is a New York-based musician appearing in many different guises. Trained primarily as a violinist from an early age in North Carolina, in 2013 she became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her enigmatic composition Partita for 8 Voices (also nominated for a 2014 Grammy for Best Classical Composition).
…Caroline studied for fifteen years with Suzuki violin pedagogue Joanne Bath before working with Kathleen Winkler at Rice (B.M. violin) and Syoko Aki (M.M. violin) at Yale. She is currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Princeton.
For more info…

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 25, 2015
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1076 posts
Richard Franklin said: Mar 25, 2016
 7 posts

I guess you’ve already got him down. Can’t believe I missed him in your list.

Sue Hunt said: Mar 27, 2016
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

All you need to do is to look at the string section in any symphony orchestra. It will be bursting with former Suzuki students.

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