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Dr. Maiko Sasaki

A native of Japan, Dr. Maiko Sasaki has been working since the 1990’s toward interactive performances as a solo clarinetist. Her inspiring musicianship has delighted audiences on both sides of the Pacific. For her ongoing creative initiatives, she has been featured at the Kennedy Center and has been awarded the Presser Music Award, which is given to an artist demonstrating excellence and outstanding promise for a distinguished career in the field of music.

Dr. Sasaki’s latest album “The Greener Grass,” released in 2015, features her original transcriptions for clarinet. In the album, she showcases the beauty of the clarinet as a solo instrument. She successfully transcribed many beloved masterpieces, such as Debussy and Franck Violin Sonatas, without compromising the charm of the original compositions. For her unique contribution to the body of clarinet literature, she was invited to perform at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2015 in Madrid, Spain.

In addition to her solo career, Dr. Sasaki is active in orchestral and contemporary music scenes. A resident of Houston, TX , she is a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra – one of the country’s most innovative classical ensembles – and the Opera in the Heights Orchestra. Her lyrical performance in Verdi’s La Traviata has been described as “The clarinet solo in Act Two was exquisite and full of the overwhelming emotion vivid throughout the libretto and score, adding, almost inconceivably, to Violetta’s heartbreaking plea “Love me as much as I love you!” – Sydney Boyd, a critic in Houston.

Dr. Sasaki also works with contemporary composers. She has premiered numerous works by Japanese composer Kunihiro Kato, whose recordings, Suite Nostalgia, Two Clarinet Sonatas, and Adieu Todoroki are available through the Office Makina label. She also appears on the recording of Society of Composers, Inc. “Musings” published by Capstone Records which features the work of Karim Al-Zand. She has appeared with Musiqa – one of the country’s leading contemporary music ensembles who has been awarded the 2013 CMA/ASCAP adventurous Programming Award.

Dr. Sasaki received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. She is a music consultant at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and a faculty member at the AFA Summer Music Festival and ArtsAhimsa Chamber Music Festival.