Hideko Udagawa, violinist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music and who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

When I was very young, I was attracted to music and then started to learn the violin. Eventually I was very drawn to the style and sound of Nathan Milstein, who many years later became my teacher.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Being a musician is extremely demanding and requires great dedication and discipline to strive for perfection, and to rarely being satisfied. And then there is a challenge of being individual in a convincing manner.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the recording I made with pianist Boris Berezovsky of music by Khachaturian for violin and piano.

Which particular works do you think you perform best?

Bruch, Brahms and Glazounov concerti.

What do you do off stage that provides inspiration on stage?

I try the acoustic of the hall I will perform in and decide how to get the best projection of sound.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I create a programme of standard repertoire but also like to include a work that is rarely performed.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as it is a good size and has a good acoustic.

What do you feel needs to be done to grow classical music audiences/listeners?

Classical Music needs to grow through digital means. I also feel it is important to keep the performance engaging and spontaneous every time.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

My most memorable concert experience is my debut concert at the Barbican Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

When the performance goes well and the audience is enthusiastic.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

To play the music that suits you in your own style and to enjoy it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

When you perform your best and the audience is appreciative.

What is your most treasured possession?

My violin, without it I would be lost!

Hideko Udagawa’s new recording includes world premiere recordings of little-known pieces by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Arensky alongside better known works by Russian composers. Release date 9 April 2021


Hideko Udagawa made her orchestral debut in London with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras, playing Bruch’s G minor concerto at the Barbican Hall. Highlights from her other engagements include performances with the Philharmonia under Leonard Slatkin, Royal Philharmonic under Paavo Jarvi, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Marek Janowski, City of Birmingham Symphony under Okko Kamu, London Mozart Players under Matthias Bamert, Russian National under Paavo Berglund, as well as Moscow Philharmonic, English Chamber, National Symphony, Bavarian Radio and Armenian Philharmonic Orchestras.

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