Violinist, Writer, Social entrepreneur
Born in Oita, Japan, New York-based violinist Sumire Hirotsuru has multifaceted interests in music, education, and media. She has performed as a soloist at major venues and festivals in the U.S. and Japan including Carnegie Hall, John. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Suntory Hall, Pilobolous’ Five Senses Festival, and Beppu Argerich Music Festival. She is a founding member of Ansonia Quartet, which has appeared at Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, and Museum of Modern Arts in New York. As she enjoys different genres of music, she collaborates with Video Game Orchestra to record soundtracks including Final Fantasy series and Kingdom Hearts series, with Típica Messiez to perform Argentinian tango, and with Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble for cultural collaboration.
Sumire is a co-founder of Summer in JAPAN, an annual education program for Japanese schoolchildren since 2013. She invites ten Harvard students to her hometown to teach over a hundred Japanese schoolchildren workshops such as programming and academic writing. She also serves as an Artist Faculty and Education Advisor of Classical Music Institute in San Antonio.
As a published author, Sumire often gives lectures and contributes articles in Japan based on her first book on self-management, published by Kadokawa in February 2019. She earned a B.A. from Harvard University with the highest honors in 2016, and a M.M. from The Juilliard School in 2018 with the William Schuman Prize, awarded for outstanding achievement and leadership in Music.
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, a joint performance with the Parker Quartet at Harvard ARTS FIRST Festival, and a workshop at Harvard Ed Portal.
As a founding member of The Ansonia Quartet, she has raised $10,000 in 9 days on a crowdfunding website, and carried out a first international tour to Japan during the Summer 2017. The quartet has appeared at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, New York City Ballet, Museum of Modern Arts in New York, and Shandelee Festival, and has been selected for the Honors Chamber Music Program and Gluck Community Service Fellowship for 2017/18 Season at Juilliard.
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 Music Festival Argerich’s Meeting Point in Beppu. Her concerto soloist debut was at the age of twelve with the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra.
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 over a hundred Japanese students aged 6-20. The concert series “Summer in JAPAN Classical Concert – Sumire Hirotsuru and her Harvard friends” has sold tickets to more than thousand audiences by 2019, collaborating with many musicians from Harvard, Stanford, Juilliard and local professionals.
Sumire graduated with highest honors from Harvard University in 2016, where she studied Music and Global Health and Health Policy. While she was at the college, she started writing for her regular column on Nikkei, the largest business newspaper in Japan.
Born in Oita, Japan, Sumire started her violin studies at the age of three. She has studied violin under Akiko Tatsumi, Eduard Schmieder, and Zakhar Bron. She has earned the Master of Music under Masao Kawasaki at The Juilliard School, where she has served as a Co-Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and received the Williams Schuman Prize as the most outstanding graduate student in the Music division.