A master of both modern and Baroque violins and a prominent conductor in historically informed performances, Shunske Sato has won recognition for his concerts and recordings of Bach, Vivaldi, and Telemann, as well as standard Classical and Romantic concerto repertoire. Born in 1984 in Tokyo, Sato started lessons on the violin at age 2, and by 4 he was a student of Chin Kim. He made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra when he was 10, and launched his career by winning the first prize in the Young Concert Artists competition in 1997, when he was 12. Sato competed at the 17th International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2010, winning the second prize and the audience prize, and he was the recipient of the Idemitsu Award and the S & R Washington Award. Sato's education took him to the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Maseo Kawasaki, and later in Paris, where he worked with Gérard Poulet. He earned his graduate diploma at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where he studied Baroque violin with Mary Utiger. Sato plays Baroque violin as the concertmaster of Concerto Köln and he is the artistic director of the Netherlands Bach Society. He has performed as soloist with the Orchestra Libera Classica, the Berliner Lautten Compagney, and the Academy of Ancient Music. He has also collaborated with major symphony orchestras in standard concerto performances, appearing in Europe, and Japan, as well as with American orchestras. An accomplished chamber musician, Sato has performed with Christine Schornsheim, Hidemi Suzuki, and Richard Egarr. In addition to his Baroque violin recordings, Sato has also recorded Niccolò Paganini’s Caprices for solo violin using gut strings, and played a modern violin in Eugène Ysaÿe's unaccompanied violin sonatas, Edvard Grieg's sonatas for violin and piano, and works for violin and viola by Akira Nishimura.
© Blair Sanderson /TiVo
© Blair Sanderson /TiVo
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Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Not just restricted to the baroque repertoire, Japanese violinist and violist Shunsuke Sato (also written as Shunske Sato) does not hesitate to play some of the most contemporary works, many of which he wrote for himself. This means that his own way of playing Bach benefits from both teachings - the art of playing baroque on instruments and with ancient bows, and the art of playing in a contemporary style. This is, no doubt, what makes his reading of Bach so wonderful as he searches for pure beauty, making the instrument sing and linking the phrases with such coherence. Accompanying him, we find the wonderful Swiss ensemble il pomo d’oro (all lowercase) who embrace these musicologically indisputable teachings with a tone that sometimes even sounds romantic. In truth, Bach’s music often flirts with more tender accentuation, for example in the slow movement of Concerto for two violins, which Sato plays here with Zefira Valova, a violinist from the ensemble. It should be noted that the ensemble also seeks to rediscover the most intimate sounds that Bach could have conceived in these concertos, some of which were undoubtedly written to be performed at Café Zimmermann: one musician per desk! The resulting sounds are hugely different from other recordings which are sometimes performed by orchestras that are far too large for this work. © SM/Qobuz