Sumire Hirotsuru

Violinist, Interviewer, Writer

Performance with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

In April 2015, Sumire made a debut performance with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Since then, she has been invited back to join their performances several times, including a tribute performance to Yo-Yo Ma at UNICEF Children’s Champion Award Dinner, a joint performance with the Parker Quartet at Harvard ARTS FIRST Festival, a performance for HUBweek Boston and a workshop at Harvard Ed Portal.

As a member of the Video Game Orchestra, she has also recorded major video game soundtracks including Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts, and participated in their Japan tours and performances at Boston Symphony Hall, PAX East, and Berklee Performance Center.

Sumire was one of the four top winners of the IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition in Italy. The following year, she embarked on a recital tour in the U.S. including a performance in Carnegie Hall. She has won various violin competitions and has given concerts all over Japan including Suntory Hall, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, and festival concerts for Music Festival Argerich’s Meeting Point in Beppu. Her concerto soloist debut was at the age of twelve.

Members of Summer in JAPAN 2014

At home in Japan, Sumire co-founded an educational program “Summer in JAPAN” in 2012. She invites her Harvard College peers to her hometown and for two weeks every summer, and organizes intensive workshops for around sixty Japanese students aged 6-20. The concert series “Summer in JAPAN Classical Concert – Sumire Hirotsuru and her Harvard friends” has sold tickets to as many as a thousand attendees by 2017, collaborating with many musicians from Harvard, Stanford, Juilliard and local professionals.

Nikkei Newspaper
Sumire appeared on Japan’s biggest business paper, Nikkei.

She graduated from Harvard University in 2016, where she studied Music and Global Health and Health Policy. For her senior thesis, she performed a first recital in the history of the Department of Music, receiving summa cum laude on her thesis. She has served as the president of Brattle Street Chamber Players and Harvard Early Music Society, a co-producer of student opera productions, and the co-concertmaster of Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra. When she was at the college, she started writing for her regular column on Nikkei, the largest business newspaper in Japan.

Sumire started her violin studies at the age of three. She has studied violin under Akiko Tatsumi, Eduard Schmieder, and Zakhar Bron. She is currently pursuing the Master of Music under Masao Kawasaki at The Juilliard School, where she has served as the Principal Second of the Juilliard Orchestra and a member of the New Juilliard Ensemble. As a founder of The Ansonia Quartet, she has raised $10,000 in nine days on a crowdfunding website, and carried out a Japan tour during the Summer 2017. The quartet has been selected to join the Honors Chamber Music Program 2017/18 Season at Juilliard.