Koko Watanabe

Violin, Viola Teacher

Koko Watanabe

SAA Member


Shaker Heights, OH
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Training: Koko started her musical journey at the age of five in Nagoya, Japan where Dr. Suzuki was born. She finished her Artist Diploma in violin performance from Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with William Preucil and Stephen Rose, the concertmaster and principal second violinist of The Cleveland Orchestra. Before moving to Cleveland, Koko studied with Emanuel Borok at Southern Methodist University, where she held an Artist Certificate on full scholarship, and won second prize in the concerto competition. While in Japan, Ms. Watanabe earned her Master of Music degree at Toho Conservatory and her Bachelor of Music degree at the Tokyo College of Music, where she studied with Hamao Fujiwara. She also won the Choko- hai International Music Competition and her graduate school concerto competition, and she performed with the Toho Academy Orchestra. Koko trained with Linda Stieg and Merilyn O’ Boyle to complete her Suzuki Violin Teacher Training Registration Unit 1 and 2, and has also participated in short-term Suzuki institution in Oberlin, OH.

Teaching experiences: Koko has been a violin faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since summer, 2014 where she manages private lessons, masterclasses, group lessons, orchestra sectionals, chamber music coaching and faculty concerts. Her students have ranged from ages four to thirty five and levels beginning to advanced. Koko is also responsible for the development of an after school program at Ruffing Montessori School, Cleveland Hts. OH, and Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Hts. OH, where she teaches violin private lessons.

Performance experiences: Koko has given orchestral, recital and chamber music performances in the U.S. and Japan. Currently, she performs with Canton Symphony and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, OH. Also, she holds substitute positions of Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Alabama Symphony. She attended Pacific Music Festival in Japan in 2007, and Music Academy of the West in 2012-13 in Santa Barbara, California, where she served as concertmistress under Tito Munoz and James Gaffigan.