Winner of numerous awards as a soloist including the gold medal at the 2000 San Antonio International Piano Competition and the most recent award from the S&R Foundation, Ms. Takao enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, as well as an ardent educator.
Based in Maryland for over ten years, Ms. Takao’s recent appearances include concerto performances with orchestras such as the Alexandria Symphony (VA), Laredo Philharmonic (TX) and Ohio Valley Symphony, and she regularly appears as a chamber musician at Washington D. C. venues such as the Smithsonian Chamber Music Series, Strathmore, Library of Congress, as well as at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has been featured for a month of weekly solo performances as an Artist-in- Residence at the Strathmore as well as a recital under the auspices of the San Antonio International Piano Competition. She is often invited to various colleges and universities especially in East Coast not only as a performer, but also as a masterclass clinician, an adjudicator, and a pedagogue.
Her musical versatility can be gleaned from a sampling from the last-season engagements alone: she appeared at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington DC as a founding member of the critically acclaimed Post Classical Ensemble, playing with such musicians as David Krakauer (clarinet) in Gnaarly Buttons by John Adams, and with David Taylor (Bass Trombone) in a work by Daniel Schnyder, jazz saxophonist and composer; soon after, she was seen performing Copland’s Suite from Appalachian Spring with the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra and Ode to Napoleon by Schoenberg with the Left Bank Quartet. The remainder of the season included Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2 and the piano quintet version of Shoenberg’s Kammersymphonie, Op. 9 as well as solo piano recitals featuring works by Beethove, Chopin, Ravel and Rachmaninov.
She is highly sought after as an enthusiastic advocate of newly composed music and has premiered many works, performing for organizations surd Rose International Cello Competition.
Since coming to the United States following an advice from the late Alicia de Larocha whom she played for while still a teenager in Japan, Ms. Takao pursued her varied musical interests early while studying at the Preparatory Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Nathan Schwartz. After studying with Raymond Hanson at the Hartt School of Music for her BM in solo performance, she continued her studies under the tutorage of Anne Koscielny and Santiago Rodriguez for her MM and DMA at the University of Maryland, College Park. In chamber music, she has coached extensively with the members of the Guarneri Quartet, in particular, with the late David Soyer. Prior to her appointment at the Frost School of Music, Ms. Takao was a long-time faculty member at the highly regarded Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C., dedicating her efforts in mentoring young talented musicians. She has also been a faculty member at the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado during the summer since 2004.