Dr. Nikki Routman Ebisu
Violinist Dr. Nikki (Routman) Ebisu enjoys a multi-faceted career as teacher, performer and clinician. Her collaborative chamber music and orchestral performances have taken her all across the globe, from Europe, USA and Asia.
As an active music educator, she is in large demand—not only as a Japanese-bilingual violin instructor but also as one of the few remaining to have studied directly with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the founder of the Suzuki Method. Prior to moving to Hawaii, Dr. Ebisu primarily taught at the college level. She served as a lead Graduate Assistant and Instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder; also on the faculty at Conservatory Music in the Mountains Summer Festival in Durango, Colorado and Chaminade University in Hawaii. She is now the Owner and Director of Violin Artistry, a school for violinists, ages 3 and up. Her students have been prize-winners in national competitions and have performed in festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, Interlochen, and Meadowmount. Her students have performed in masterclasses for Sarah Chang, Martin Beaver, Brian Lewis, Midori, William Terwilliger, among many others. In 2016, her student was selected to perform in a side-by-side performance of the Bach Double Concerto with concert violinist Midori.
On the performance stage, Dr. Ebisu is currently a violinist with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Hawaii Pops Orchestra with Matt Catingub. She previously held positions with the Honolulu Symphony, World Symphony Orchestra (in South Korea), Austin Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Fort Collins Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic and Temple Symphony. She also performed with the Charleston (SC) Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Corpus Christi Symphony and Maui Pops Orchestra. She has participated in various summer festivals including Interlochen, the International Music Festival in Portugal, and Colorado Music Festival, and was invited to perform at the 2005 Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar in San Franscisco as the “Emerging String Quartet” Winner.
Dr. Ebisu’s musically journey began before she was born, when her mother received Dr. Suzuki’s “Nurtured by Love” book (in Japanese) as a gift from her father while she was still expecting. She later met Dr. Suzuki during his US tour to Colorado performing with his young prodigal students in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Dr. Suzuki advised her to listen to the recordings up to six hours a day, and to observe and immerse her (future) children in music.
Dr. Ebisu officially began her musical studies at age one-and-a-half in Colorado, simply observing Suzuki Method lessons with William Starr and other local teachers in town, and practicing on a mini-fake violin. Upon moving to Japan at age four, she studied with the renowned Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and his apprentices at the Suzuki Talent Education Research Institute in Tokyo and Matsumoto. Accepted into the Preparatory Division of the Toho Academy of Music in Tokyo at age eight, she was invited to study with violist Sumiko Edo. She later returned to the United States for high school and college.
Dr. Ebisu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Pre-Medicine from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Masters in Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her primary violin teachers include Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Sumiko Edo, John Arnold, Dr. Eugene Gratovich and Oswald Lehnert. She studied chamber music under the tutelage of the Cavani Quartet, Takacs Quartet, Ying Quartet, Erika Eckert and Judith Glyde. Her primary Suzuki teacher-training instructors include Liz Arbus, Helen Brunner, Linda Fiore, Allen Lieb and Nancy Lokken, among others. As a registered instructor with the Suzuki Association of America (SAA), she is pursuing her goal of becoming a Suzuki Method teacher trainer.
Her newest venture is Aloha Tuners, an online website featuring the CharactuneTM digital clip-on tuners for strings in fun shapes and colors.
She is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Hawaii Music Teachers Association (HMTA), the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the Suzuki Association of Hawaii (SAH), the Suzuki Association of America (SAA), and Sigma Alpha Iota.
When not teaching, performing with the symphony or being a Suzuki Parent, she enjoys spending time in sunny Hawaii with her husband and two kids, ages 3 and 4.