Kuniko is one of the most gifted and significant percussionists of her generation. Her astonishing virtuosity, exquisite musical insight and expressive yet elegant performance style continues to attract not only audiences, but established conductors and composers too. She is renowned for her flawless technique when playing both keyboard and percussion instruments, which blends seamlessly with her profound musical intelligence.
Kuniko studied under the legendary marimba player Keiko Abe at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan and advanced her studies under Robert Van Sice at Rotterdam Conservatorium in the Netherlands. She graduated with the highest honour (summa cum laude) as the first percussionist in the institution’s history. Whilst studying, Kuniko continued to develop her professional career, playing various concertos and solo recitals including the Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra by Akira Miyoshi.
After graduation she was based in Europe for over ten years, winning major awards including the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis from the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt in 1996 and second prize at the International Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba competition in 1996. In 1997, Kuniko recorded James Wood’s Marimba Concerto in London where her performance was highly complimented by the BBC. In addition, Kuniko was a guest soloist at the James Wood Portrait concert at the 2001 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 1999, Kuniko released her first solo album To The Earth.