is a violinist known for his distinctive and engaging performances on both modern and historical instruments. Equally in demand as concertmaster, chamber musician, soloist and teacher, the diversity of his activities reflect his versatile and resourceful nature.
Resident in The Netherlands, Shunske serves as concertmaster of Concerto Köln and the Netherlands Bach Society, and is often invited as a guest concertmaster for ensembles such as the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 2013 he was invited to join the faculty of the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he teaches violin in the context of historical performance practice.
He has performed as soloist with American and European orchestras such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and National Symphony Orchestra, as well as with orchestras in Japan such as the NHK Philharmonic and Osaka Century Orchestra. Shunske has recorded violin concertos by Haydn and Mozart with Orchestra Libera Classica under the baton of Hidemi Suzuki, and in 2011 gave the first performance of Paganini’s second violin concerto on historical instruments with the Academy of Ancient Music. His discography is extensive and most notably includes works for solo violin by Telemann, Paganini and Eugène Ysaÿe.
In the roles of both soloist and concertmaster Shunske has worked with numerous conductors, including Ivor Bolton, Richard Egarr, Christopher Hogwood, and Kent Nagano
In 2010 Shunske was awarded Second prize and the Audience prize at the 17th International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig. He also won the Young Concert Artists award at the age of 12, the youngest ever to date.
Born in Tokyo, Shunske immigrated to the US at the age of four. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York, Conservatoire National de Région in Paris and Hochschule für Musik und Theather in Munich. His teachers include Chin Kim, Dorothy DeLay, Masao Kawasaki, Gérard Poulet, Eiichi Chijiiwa and Mary Utiger.
Concerto Köln (COK)
For more than 25 years Concerto Köln has been one of the leading ensembles in the field of historical performance. Their energetic style of playing has earned them great popularity and regular invitations to appear in renowned concert halls and at festivals around the globe. Markus Hoffmann, Mayumi Hirasaki and Shunske Sato are the orchestra’s permanent concertmasters, with Martin Sandhoff as artistic director since 2005. A partnership with the leading High End Audio specialists, MBL, was established in October of 2009 . The ensemble receives additional support from the Minister for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and the TÜV Rheinland. Since 2008 Concerto Köln and the Berlin Classics label have been working closely together. Their recording of Henri-Joseph Rigel’s Symphonies won an Echo Klassik Award in 2009 and the MI- DEM Classic Award in 2010.
With numerous works having been released earlier on other labels, Concerto Köln’s discography now extends to more than 60 albums, many of which have collected prizes such as the Echo Klassik, the Grammy Award, the German Record Critics’ “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, the MIDEM Classic Award, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Diapason d’Année and the Diapason d’ Or.
A trademark of the ensemble is the rediscovery of composers whose music has remained in the shadows of greater names. Henri- Joseph Rigel is not the only beneficiary of Concerto Köln’s efforts in this regard. Works by Joseph Martin Kraus and Evaristo Felice dall’Abaco have also enjoyed a Renaissance. The intermeshing of research and practice is especially important for the ensemble and plays a vital role in their musical approach. With this recording of the Brandenburg Concertos, Concerto Köln draws an arc to their 2010 release of Bach‘s Orchestral Suites. The reference to the Hofkapelle in Köthen acts as the golden thread bonding the two recordings. A special thank you goes out to the Kunststiftung NRW and to Deutschlandfunk whose help and support was fundamental in the realization of these projects.