The Japanese pianist and music pedagogue, Sachiko Kato, began studying piano at age 4 in Osaka, Japan after her parents enrolled her in a kindergarten that specialized in music. At age 14 her family relocated to Los Angeles, California, where she grew up and started to gain recognition as a promising artist at an early age. She made a debut performance with the Brentwood Symphony Orchestra at age 15. After receiving a Bachelor of Music from California State University in Northridge, she was offered a scholarship to study at Juilliard School of Music in New York City where she received a Master of Music degree. Her teachers include such renowned pianists as Russell Sherman, Jerome Lowenthal, and Herbert Stessin. She won the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition and the Pro-Piano Recital Series Audition.
Recently featured in the Juilliard School's centenary publication, "Dance Drama Music: 100 Years of the Juilliard School," Sachiko Kato has been known for her versatility, beautiful sonorous sound, and innovative programming. She made her Carnegie Weill Hall recital debut in 1994. Since then, she has been performing extensively throughout the USA and Japan. She has recently been heard at the Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall and Performing Arts Library, World Financial Center, Steinway Hall and Klavierhaus Hall in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, Norris Theater of Performing Arts, Old First Church and Crocker Art Museum in California, LiveArts Concert Series and Art Complex Museum in Massachusetts, among others. Her pianism had also been feature-broadcast by KMZT FM and WKCR FM. As a performer, Sachiko believes musicians have a responsibility to educate the public by programming pieces that are not so well known, including contemporary music. "But personally speaking, I have always had a soft spot for Brahms' music."
In addition to her career as solo performer, Sachiko Kato has also been active in chamber music. She has recently appeared in Storm King Music Festival as well as Arcady Music Festival in Maine. She is also a founder of "Weaving Japanese Sounds--Music of Modern Japan" which presents the works of various Japanese contemporary composers to American audiences in friendly settings. The project was launched two years ago to the standing-room only audience and critical acclaim: "... highly recommend this innovative new series; there is much to explore," Kato plays "with finesse and a lovely, delicate touch," and brings "interpretive clarity" with "impressively crisp fingerwork and consistent energy." (New York Concert Review).
A teacher at Bloomingdale for over 10 years, Sachiko works with her students to attain self-discipline and self-discovery through music. "Simply put, basics, basics, basics! Then, after notes, rhythm and harmony are covered, I work with students on expression." She teaches students of all ages and ability levels. "I have all sorts of students, each with a distinct personality and temperament. Some are very serious and some are really funny. I enjoy the interaction with each one of them." Sachiko is open to teaching children younger than six but prefers if they are capable of some reading. "With younger students I focus on lots of singing and clapping rhythm and taking time to let knowledge sink in." She helps her adult students to enhance their musical knowledge and understanding. "For adult students, patience is of the utmost necessity for both student and teacher. Adult students usually have great intellectual ability and also appreciation for music."