Japanese pianist Akina Motoyama first started to play the piano at the age of four with her mother. Following studies with Yukiko Kawaguchi, she went on to study at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo with Makiko Yamasaki. She has worked with a number of esteemed teachers including Aldo Ciccolini, Daniel Shapiro, Etsuko Tasaki, Haruko Ueda, John Perry, Klaus Hellwig, Kou Iwasaki, Nina Lelchuk, Peter Takacs, and Shigeo Neriki. ..Akina has won many prizes and fellowships in Japan and the United States. She has been invited to appear at numerous festivals, including: Montecito Summer Music Festival in USA, Nagasaki Music Festival in Japan, and the Musica Riva Festival in Italy.
Her most recent European performances were as a guest artist at the Rencontres Franco-Américaines de Musique de Chambre festival in Missillac, France, performing solo and camber music. She was also invited to perform in China as a Music Ambassador from Sasebo, Japan. Recent concerto appearances include performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Sasebo Civic Orchestra and Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Polish Krakow National Chamber Orchestra.
Akina is also an experienced chamber musician and her performances have been widely acclaimed. She has performed chamber music in prestigious concert halls in Japan with such distinguished artists as Heiichiro Oyama and Rintaro Kaneko, and in France and the United States with Peter Marsh, and the “CAY Trio.” Her 2015-2016 concert season includes solo and chamber music performances in and around Los Angeles, the Pacific Northwest, Southwest United States, and recording a CD of chamber music.
Akina is currently studying with Kevin Fitz-Gerald in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California’s Flora L. Thornton School of Music, where she holds a music scholarship by the University. She was awarded Outstanding Graduate - Keyboard Studies from USC when she graduated with her Graduate Certificate, and is currently completing her studies at USC in the Master’s Program.
Praised by the New York Times for having "traversed the palette of emotions" with "gorgeous tone and an edge of-seat intensity" and described by Diario de Menorca as an "ideal performer" that offers "elegance, displayed virtuosity, and great expressive power", Spanish cellist Andrea Casarrubios strives to enrich and transform all kinds of audiences, empowering them to explore their own personal connection to music.
Andrea has played extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in countries throughout Europe, Asia and America. She has collaborated in festivals such as the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Ravinia RSMI, Pablo Casals Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and the Verbier Festival among others.
Andrea is a founding member of Trio Appassionata. The ensemble just completed a CD with four American Piano Trios released in 2014 on Odradek Records. First prize winner of numerous cello competitions and awards, Andrea is also a pianist, an active new music performer and a composer herself, and she has premiered several contemporary works including Meredith Monk's Backlight (2015) at Carnegie Hall, and Maktub for three cellos, Andrea's own work, premiered at the VI Festival Luigi Boccherini, in 2013.
Andrea began to play the piano at the age of two under the guidance of composer María Escribano and continued her development with pianists Ludmil Angelov, Seth Knopp, and Bernadene Blaha in Toledo (Spain), Baltimore, and Los Angeles respectively. At the age of five she started to take cello lessons and became a student of Maria de Macedo in Madrid. Andrea expanded her undergraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Amit Peled, and in 2013 she completed her Masters at USC under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum.
Andrea currently lives in New York City where she is a fellow at Ensemble ACJW, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. ..Andrea's latest engagements include recitals in Spain, a tour through China and Brazil with Trio Appassionata, and concerts in Paris and Geneva with Ensemble ACJW. In addition to performing several chamber music concerts each season at Carnegie Hall among other venues, Ensemble ACJW fellows also use their unique skill set of advocacy and musicianship to present meaningful events and performances at multiple non-traditional venues bringing music to people in challenging circumstances.