Violinist Sumire Hirotsuru, born in Oita, Japan, has multifaceted interests in music, education, and media. She often performs with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, has recorded video game soundtracks including Final Fantasy series, and has served as a co-concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. In 2012, she co-founded Summer in JAPAN, an annual educational program and has provided nearly a thousand Japanese schoolchildren with English workshops. As an active writer, she holds a column on Nikkei business newspaper and is a contributor for the Juilliard Journal. Sumire earned a B.A. from Harvard University in 2016 and a M.M. from The Juilliard School in 2018. She is a recipient of the William Schuman Prize, awarded for outstanding achievement and leadership in Music at Juilliard.
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, and FOCUS! Festival at Juilliard, 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 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.
Sumire graduated with highest honors 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. 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.
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.