Born in Walnut Creek, California, Sakurako Kanemitsu has performed in international music festivals such as the Sulzbach-Rosenberg InterHarmony Festival (Germany), and Orfeo International Music Festival (Italy). She performs frequently throughout the Sacramento area in both solo and chamber settings, and is also an avid performer of new music, having premiered many compositions. She regularly performs for various projects at UC Davis Department of Music often in collaboration with their faculty and student composers. Her recording of local composer Ryan Suleiman’s piano-cycle, Under Moonlight, was featured on KDVS radio in Davis. In 2015, she worked as the rehearsal pianist and performance artist for the Sacramento State Opera Theater production of The Cat that Walked by Himself by John Duke and The Beggar’s Opera by Benjamin Britten. She regularly performs in choreographer Jacob Montoya’s contemporary dance productions, which have included Human Nature, Resilience, Signs of Life, and more recently Heartstrings, which featured an original composition for piano quartet. In the 2018 season Ms. Kanemitsu was invited to premier and perform works by the UC Davis composition faculty in collaboration with vocalist Lucy Fitz-Gibbons, for the retirement of esteemed musicologist, Christopher Reynolds. She also collaborated with 2017 Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition Winner, clarinetist Katsuya Yuasa for a sponsored duo recital at Capistrano Hall, CSUS. She held four-hand piano recitals with pianist, Ina Jun as well as solo piano recitals at the “Music at Noon” concert series at Westminster Presbyterian Church and “Performance at Pioneer” concert series at the Pioneer Congregational Church in downtown Sacramento.
For the upcoming 2019-2020 season, Ms. Kanemitsu’s collaboration group consisting of cellist Michael Dahlberg and choreographer Jacob Montoya was chosen to be a part of the Artist-in-Residence program at UC Davis Department of Music.
Ms. Kanemitsu will also make her official Bay Area debut at the Center for New Music in San Francisco in April, 2019. This program will consist works by 20th and contemporary composers for solo piano.
In 2013, Ms. Kanemitsu was awarded the exclusive Saturday Club Scholarship in piano and was the recipient of the annual Thomas Gentry and Fine Arts Scholarship in piano throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Sacramento Sate University, where she studied under Steinway Artists Professor Richard Cionco and Dr. Natsuki Fukasawa. During her graduate studies she was the teaching assistant for class piano under Professor Kirsten Smith, and personal assistant to Professor Richard Cionco at Sacramento State School of Music. She graduated with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in May of 2017. In addition to running her own private studio, Sakura Piano Studio (Arden-Arcade), she holds teaching positions at Tim’s Music (Carmichael) and Pacific Institute of Music (Folsom). Ms. Kanemitsu performs regularly as a soloist and chamber pianist throughout the Sacramento area.
Photography by Tomoko Matsushita and Peng Wah Ng