Akemi Takayama is known worldwide for her musical artistry and passion as well as for the extensive range and versatility of her repertoire. With a unique blend of warmth and excitement, her masterful performances have enthralled audiences throughout Japan, France, England, Turkey, Israel, and the U.S. Currently the concertmaster of both the Roanoke Symphony and the Williamsburg Symphonia, Takayama is also an Associate Professor of Violin, holding the Victor Brown Endowed Chair in Violin, in the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, where she works with private students and chamber groups.
A native of Japan, Akemi Takayama showed promise as a violinist from an early age, beginning her performance career at age 15. In Japan, she studied with Toshiya Eto and Ryosaku Kubota at the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance. In the United States, she earned a Professional Studies degree at the University of Wyoming, studying with Brian Hanly. During her graduate studies, Takayama was a teaching assistant to famed violinist and pedagogue Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned both the Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree.
Praised by Isaac Stern as a “true musician,” Akemi Takayama was invited to participate in the Marlboro Music Festival in 1997. Recent solo performances with orchestras include Daugherty’s Fire and Blood and Ladder to the Moon, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Double Concerto, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, Pärt’s Fratres, Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major, Chausson’s Poème, Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Triple Concerto, Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Mozart’s Violin Concerto #5, Roskott’s Violin Concerto, and Barber’s Violin Concerto.
In addition to concert seasons with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and the Williamsburg Symphonia, recent collaborations include the Opera Roanoke, Shenandoah Performs, the Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia, and the New Orchestra of Washington. Takayama was a member of the internationally celebrated Audubon Quartet for fourteen years, during which time the group toured regionally and nationally and made a number of CD recordings on the Centaur and Composers labels.
Active as an educator and arts advocate throughout Virginia, Takayama has served as the chair for College Advisory Committee for the Virginia String Teachers Association. She has served on the faculties of the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Idyllwild School for the Arts in California, the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Shenandoah Performs in Virginia, and Virginia Tech. In addition to teaching on the faculty at Shenandoah University (since 2007), Takayama was invited to teach at the Oberlin Conservatory in the fall semester of 2012.
An inspiring educator, Takayama has taught countless violinists who now have successful careers performing chamber music and playing in orchestras. Many of her students have been accepted to pursue Master of Music or Doctor of Musical Arts degree studies at schools such as Indiana University, Boston Conservatory, Oberlin, Florida State University, Case Western Reserve University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, East Carolina University, and The Catholic University of America. Some have gone into music education, teaching at institutions such as the Princeton Shenzhen International Children’s Learning Center Education in Shenzhen, China; the Community School of The Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland.
Akemi Takayama has recorded many solo performances on CD with Blackwater Recording.
 Her ongoing projects include recording the Roskott Violin Concerto on Centaur Records and her performances of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin and Sonata Duo, both with renowned pianist John O’Conor.


Aug 9 - 20, 2016 China Xi'an Music Festival
Aug 27, 2016 1:30 p.m. Elmwood Park Amphitheater
Sep 7 2016 7:30 p.m. Edge Ensemble Shenandoah University
Sep 9 2016 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Salem Civic Center,
Sep 15 & 16 2016 7:00 p.m. Washington D.C., Akemi Takayama, violin, Lalo Symphonie Espagnole with conductor, Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez and New Orchestra of Washington
Sep 24 & 25 2016 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Shenandoah University, Akemi Takayama, violin, Piazzolla Four Seasons with conductor, Jan Wagner and Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Sep 29 2016 Lithuanian Embassy, Washington D.C., Piano Trio
Oct 1, 2016 1:30 & 3:00 p.m., Williamsburg, VA
Oct 10 & 11 2016 8:00 p.m. Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg, VA
Oct 15 2016 7:30 p.m. Berglund Performing Arts Center, Roanoke, VA
Oct 28 2016 8:30 p.m. Patrick Henry Hotel Ballroom, Roanoke, VA, Roanoke String Quartet Performance
Nov 12 2016 7:30 p.m. & Nov 13, 3:00 p.m. Shaftman Performace Hall at Jefferson Center, Roanoke, VA
Nov 17 & 18 2016 8:00 p.m. Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg, VA
Dec 2 2016 7:30 p.m. Salem Civic Center, Dec 3 2016 4:00 p.m. Moss Center, Dec 4 2016 7:00 p.m. Martinsville, VA, Dec. 5, 2016 7:30 p.m. Covington, VA
Dec 13, 2016 7 p.m. Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center
Dec 17, 2016 2:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. & Dec 18, 2016 7 p.m. Phi Beta Kappa Hall, Williamsburg, VA
Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center
Dec 24, 2016 7 p.m. Roanoke, Virginia
Feb 11 2017 7:30 p.m. & Feb 12 2017 3:00 p.m. Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center
Feb 24 2017 7:30 p.m. Hollins University
Mar 29 & 30, 2017 8:00 p.m. Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg, VA
Apr 7 2017 7:30 p.m. Salem Civic Center
Apr 22 2017 7:30 p.m. Berglund Performing Arts Theatre, Roanoke, VA
Apr 25 & 26, 2017 8:00 p.m. Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg, VA
Apr 29 2017 2:00 p.m. Williamsburg, VA
May 1 2017 6:30 p.m. Tubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA
May 12 2017 7:30 p.m. Salem Civic Center
May 20 2017 8:00 p.m. Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg, VA


Akemi Takayama preforms Romance by Amy Beach

Klezmer Dance by Șerban Nichifor: Trio for Clarinet, Violin, Piano

The Violin Studio at Shenandoah Conservatory

Chaconne by Bach: Part II

Takayama's Recording of Fly Away by Dwight Bigler


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