Photo (left to right): Sydney Manga and Anime Show (SMASH) representative, Akira Isogawa, Satsuki Odamura, Aiko Goto, Ken Done, Consul-General of Japan in Sydney Mr Takaoka.
Yesterday one of our most beloved musicians, violinist Aiko Goto, was honoured by the Japanese Foreign Ministry with a commendation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation between Japan and Australia.
Aiko has been a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 1998 and the Japanese Foreign Ministry noted that in addition to the promotion of musical exchanges between Japan and Australia, ‘Ms Goto also dedicates herself to teaching young musicians, helping the development of Australian youth performers.’
The grand niece of Dr. Suzuki, she began her violin training at the age of three with the Suzuki Method and studied at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Japan. Aiko received a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School in New York under Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki, graduating in 1994. In 1995 she made her New York debut at the Carnegie Weil Recital Hall, receiving the highest critical acclaim, and in 1997 she performed for the International Refugee Fund attended by the Japanese Royal Family.
Aiko Goto. Photo by Anthony Browell, featured in the ACO 40: The Fortieth Year book.
She has been a member of the Saito Kinen Orchestra since 1995, directed by Seiji Ozawa (she was a Concertmistress for 'the Saito Kinen Festival gig' in 2014). Since 2000 she has held annual solo recitals in Sydney and at the Japanese Embassy in Canberra, and in 2006 gave recitals in Tokyo for the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange.
In 2011 Aiko was invited to be Guest Director and soloist with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, and performed in ‘Concert for Japan’, raising funds for the Tohoku Japan Earthquake and Tsunami appeal. Every two years Aiko plays at Nobuko Imai’s Viola and Chamber Music Festival in Japan, and she is a member of Sydney’s Sonus Piano Quartet.
Aiko enjoys teaching and sharing her love of music with young musicians. She is a mentor for the ACO Emerging Artists Program and ACO Collective, and has tutored at the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp. Aiko has directed the ACO Academy program in July annually since 2012.
Aiko Goto's photo among the cherry blossom trees is part of the ACO 40: The Fortieth Year book, a large-format deluxe book that captures our musicians in pictures and in their own words, on stage, in rehearsal, and in their private lives with photos by Anthony Browell and interviews by Margaret Throsby.