Biography

Koh Gabriel Kameda

First prizewinner of the Henryk Szeryng International Violin Competition in Mexico in 1997, violinist Koh Gabriel Kameda is recognized by international audiences and colleagues alike as one of the next generation’s foremost emerging artists. After hearing him play, Lord Yehudi Menuhin stated enthusiastically that he “was most impressed” with Mr. Kameda’s performance, and Sir James Galway proclaimed that “he is one of the most remarkable players of his generation”. 

At the age of twelve Kameda enrolled in the University of Music in Karlsruhe, Germany, and studied with professor Josef Rissin.  In 1993 violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman invited him to come to New York and work with him at the Manhattan School of Music.

Koh Gabriel Kameda debuted in 1988 at the age of thirteen in Baden-Baden, Germany, performing the Violin Concerto no.5 by Henri Vieuxtemps with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra.  Since then he continues to perform throughout Europe, Asia, as well as in North and South America.  He has appeared as a soloist with leading orchestras around the world including the Staatskapelle Dresden, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra,  Southwest Radio Symphony Orchestra (Germany), Austrian Radio and Televison Symphony Orchestra, Belgian Radio and Television Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Zürich Chamber Orchestra, Kölner Kammerorchester, National Symphony of Ireland, Athens State Orchestra,  Philharmonica Hungarica, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Nordhausen Symphony Orchestra, Mexican State Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Chamber Philharmonic,and the Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, amongst many others.

While residing in Germany, Mr. Kameda has also received voracious praise for his extensive artistic activities in Japan, where he has become an important new figure in the classical music scene. In 2000 he appeared at the renowned Suntory Hall five times - completely selling out the house each time. Ten years earlier in 1990, he made his concert debut in Japan playing two evenings of violin concertos in Tokyo (Suntory Hall) and Osaka (Symphony Hall). His career in Japan did not comence with these concerts however, but rather started on the primetime TV documentary program “NHK special: Einstein Roman” for the Japanese radio and television company NHK. He worked together with author Michael Ende (Neverending Story, Momo) and fashion designer Hanae Mori, starring in the lead role and recording the soundtrack. At the same time he recorded a laser disc of the program, the first classical music laser disc produced in Japan (BMG Fun House, Japan). Indeed, his popularity in Japan is such that it has led to the establishment of a fan club there. http://www.koh-fc.com

An outstanding moment in Mr. Kameda’s early career was the remarkable opportunity he had to collaborate in a series of concerts with the late Witold Lutoslawski in 1993, a year before the death of the Polish composer.  He performed the work “Chain II” under the baton of the composer himself, and from those concerts the last live CD of the composer was produced, receiving great acclaim by the press: “outstanding”, according to Neue Musik Zeitung; “superb technique and expressive maturity”, wrote Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

His ongoing project, “Music Heals”, a series of concerts in hospitals where for many years Mr. Kameda has been actively volunteering to bring music to patients, was featured by TV Tokyo in a 60-minute television documentary broadcast in 1999, receiving much attention especially from outside the regular concert-hall-going circles.

In April 2002 Koh Gabriel Kameda premiered the Violin Concerto by Louis Gruenberg in Japan with the New Japan Philharmonic under the direction Gerard Schwarz.  This work was commissioned by Jasha Heifetz in 1945 and had not been played since. Gruenberg’s daughter, Joan Gruenberg Cominos, on Mr. Kameda’s performance, remarked, “I was delighted to discover your brilliant performance of my father's violin concerto. You have perfected this difficult work and play it beautifully.”

The German press praised his virtuosity, with Scala magazine saying Mr. Kameda “sounds like Heifetz”, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung exclaiming that he is “miraculous”.  In Japan, the music journal Ongaku no Tomo wrote that he has an “amazing sound”; in the United States, the Salt Lake City Deseret News was struck by his “unbelievable performance”.  He is “one of the best in this orbit”, gushed El Dia of Mexico, in Brasil Zero Hora marveled that “his Stradivarius turned into a Magic Violin”, in Israel “..even among the brilliant and promising, there is one outstanding” and “genius violinist” the Yedhiot Ahronot newspaper wrote after his performance with Pinchas Zukerman and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr Kameda taught at the Zurich University of the Arts from 2004 until 2009. In 2010 he accepted his present position as violin professor at the University of Music Detmold.

Koh Gabriel Kameda plays on the violin "Holroyd" made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona 1727 and mainly uses a bow by the french maker Eugène Sartory.

 

Review Quotes

 

“miraculous

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

 

„This sound can only be from Heifetz!“

Scala Magazine, Germany

 

“Magic violin in Porto Alegre”

“… Kameda, with the Stradivarius, which in his hands turned into a magical violin, showed that he has all the prerequisites to follow in the same steps as Menuhin, from whom he had already received enthusiastic applause.

Zero Hora, Brazil

 

“Classical violinist shines in Olympiad“

“What made these concerts so striking was the mesmerizing performance of violinist Koh Gabriel Kameda.. His technique is flawless, and this, combined with his refined musicality, makes him a truly remarkable artist.”

Deseret News, Salt Lake City, USA

 

 “...one of the best violinists of the orbit”

Newspaper City El Dia, Mexico City

 

 “unlimited virtuosity”

Irish Independent

 

“perfect teamwork”

Münchner Merkur

 

“…mature musician with no technical limits”

New Yorker Staatszeitung

 

 “superior virtuosity and heartfelt expressiveness”

Berliner Morgenpost

 

 “ingenious violinist”

Newspaper Yediot Ha’achronot Tel Aviv, Israel

 

 “…exceptionally talented young violinist, with no technical limits"

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

 

 "outstanding!”

Neue Musik Zeitung, Germany

 

"A dialogue between violin and orchestra, performed by Kameda with impressive musical intensity"

Salzburger Woche, Austria

 

“a violinist who will conquer the music world with a charming stroke of his bow”

Esslinger Zeitung, Germany

 

“A New Violin Wonder” 

"... it was one of those nights of which one tells their grandchildren they were witness to the emergence of an extraordinary new violin prodigy."

Badische Zeitung, Freiburg, Germany

 

"incredibly beautiful tone"

Ongaku No Tomo Magazine, Tokyo, Japan

 

"The young violinist Kameda seemed to personify tranquility. However when he played Paganini's "Introduction and Variations on Nel cor piu non mi sento", he was a sorcerer. The notes swirled and buzzed by themselves. In the left hand pizzicato, combined with continuous melody, one thought the violin played on its own. Who could resist the magic?"

Pforzheimer Zeitung, Germany

 

“From the moment Kameda stroked his bow across his 1727 Stradivari violin beautiful music lifted our souls out of the rain and returned us to the magical place where we recognise the Divine.”

The Westerly News, Vancouver, Canada