Described by the press as "a remarkable 'cellist who possesses both intellect and innate musicality... one of the finest cellists of his generation" (Chopin magazine Japan), Japanese 'cellist YOSHIKA MASUDA has performed throughout Australia, Japan, China, Mexico, the USA, the UK and much of western Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. He is the winner of national competitions in Australia, Japan and the US, and was also awarded the prestigious YAMAHA Music Foundation of Europe String Award.
Chamber music forms the core of Yoshika’s musical endeavours, and he has performed alongside Peter Frankl, Bruno Giuranna, Gil Kalish, Alissa Margulis, Roger Tapping, Don Weilerstein and Qian Zhou. He is the co-founder of the SAKURA cello quintet and resident cellist for Salastina LA, and was also the former cellist of the award-winning Rolston Quartet with whom he toured Canada and Europe. Yoshika has performed at the festivals of Aldeburgh and Leicester in the UK, Festival Amfiteatrof in Italy, Kirishima Music Festival in Japan, and the Yellow Barn Music Festival and Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in the USA. His performances were broadcast widely on ABC Classic FM (Australia), BBC Radio 3 (UK), Musiq’3 (Belgium), Klassik Radio (Germany), KUSC (USA) and Concertzender Radio (The Netherlands).
A keen advocate of contemporary music, Yoshika has given the US & world premieres of works by Reena Esmail, Toshio Hosokawa, Derrick Skye, Bent Sørensen, Nick Strimple and Jörg Widmann.
His interests outside of the classical genre have led him to perform with artists such as Ben Folds at the Sydney Opera House and Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl. Yoshika is also featured on Leonard Cohen's last album 'You Want It Darker', which was released in October 2016 on Columbia Records.
Born in Kobe, Japan, Yoshika first started playing the cello at the age of five but moved to Australia as a young child where he began his studies with Georg Pedersen at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He then studied extensively with Hannah Roberts and Ralph Kirshbaum, whilst also receiving close musical guidance from Thomas Demenga and David Geringas. Yoshika graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK with distinction and received the Principal’s Prize along with the Leonard Rose Cello Award for outstanding achievement. He gained his D.M.A. from the USC Thornton School of Music.
Yoshika is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of young cellists - his students have had successes in both local and national competitions, as well as being admitted to prestigious institutions such as Juilliard, NEC, and USC. Having previously taught at California Lutheran University, Yoshika will be the new Assistant Professor of Cello and Director of String Studies at Chapman University Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music. He has also served on the summer faculty of the Montecito International Music Festival and the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program.
"Cellist Yoshika Masuda and pianist Alice Xu brought refreshing verve and meticulous to
Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Op.70"
Fred Bouchard, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
"As [Yoshika Masuda]'s bow glides across the strings, the audience is enamored with every note, every sound."
Alexa D'Angelo, Ventura County Star
"Yoshika Masuda made the intricacies and the sudden avant-garde changes of style in Krzysztof Penderecki's classic "Capriccio per Siegfried Palm," a piece once thought nearly unplayable, seem unusually good natured."
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
"The soloist for the evening was the Yamaha-sponsored ‘cellist Yoshika Masuda. Gently self-effacing as a person, his sound was ravishing, and he brought life and character to the ‘cello concerto of CPE Bach... Masuda gave a really lovely performance of this fascinating work, well-accompanied by the MKCO under Edwards. Masuda returned to give thoughtful performances of a Japanese folk song adaptation and the gorgeous Allemande from JS Bach’s G major cello suite."
- Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Sian Edwards
Dr. Roy Tipping, BBC
"The Japanese cellist, Yoshika Masuda, gave a nuanced performance of the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto. He produced a warm, vibrant sound with lovely phrasing. There were magical moments, as when the strings introduced a tip-toe-like theme which continued under the soaring cello line. The final moto perpetual section raced to an exciting climax."
- Debut Orchestra, Lucas Richman
Eileen Wingard, San Diego Jewish World