Mariko Anraku is hailed as “a manifestation of grace and elegance” (Jerusalem Post) and has enchanted audiences through numerous appearances as soloist, as well as chamber and orchestral musician. The New York Times has hailed her as a “masterful artist of intelligence and wit”.
Since 1995, she has held the position of Associate Principal Harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Since her debut as soloist with the Toronto Symphony led by Sir Andrew Davis, Ms. Anraku has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, among others. As a recitalist, she has performed in major concert halls on three continents, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Bing Theater at the LA County Museum, The Opera Comique in Paris, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, the Casals, Kioi and Oji Halls in Tokyo, The Shanghai Oriental Arts Center among many others.
Ms. Anraku’s impressive list of awards include First Prize at the First Nippon Harp Competition, First Prize, the Channel Classics Recording Prize and the ITT Corporation Prize at the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York, and the Pro Musicis Foundation International Award. She was also awarded Third Prize and the Pearl Chertok Prize for the best performance of the required Israeli composition at the 11th International Harp Contest in Israel.
Ms. Anraku’s strong commitment to contemporary music and the expansion of boundaries of the harp repertoire has included an invitation to premiere works by Toshio Hosokawa at the Donaueschingen Musiktage in Germany, the Wien Modern in Austria, and festivals in Tubinger and Cologne, Germany, collaborating with traditional Japanese musicians and monks. Ms. Anraku also gave the USA premiere of Jean-Michel Damase’s Concerto “Ballade” with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra at the American Harp Society Conference. She has also collaborated in a “Tribute to Takemitsu” performance at Merkin Concert Hall in New York.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Anraku has performed at the Spoleto, Tanglewood, Newport and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals in the USA, The Banff Centre and the Festival of Sound in Canada, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and the Karuizawa and Takefu Music Festivals, among others in Japan. She has also performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Harvard Music Association, and Columbia University, and has collaborated with artists including clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and flutists Emmanuel Pahud, Carol Wincenc, Paula Robison, Emily Beynon, Michael Parloff, Marina Piccinini, Stefan Ragnar Hoskuldsson and Denis Bouriakov.
Ms. Anraku has recorded exclusively for EMI Classics, including three solo recordings and “Beau Soir” a collaboration with eminent flutist Emmanuel Pahud. “Music for Harp”, a compilation from her solo CDs is also available.
Ms. Anraku is a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music and The Pacific Music Festival (PMF). She is a devoted teacher, deeply committed to the mentoring and development of young musicians and has given masterclasses at The Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Peabody Institute, The Glenn Gould School, Conservatorium Maastricht, The Central Conservatory and China Institute of Music in Beijing, The Shanghai Conservatory of Music etc. She is often invited to be a jury member at local and international competitions.
She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from The Juilliard School and is a recipient of an Artist’s Diploma from The Glenn Gould School in Toronto. Her teachers have included Judy Loman, Nancy Allen, Lanalee deKant and her aunt Kumiko Inoue. Ms. Anraku also studied Oriental Art History at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, and enjoys playing community service concerts at hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers, prisons and other venues.