Kikuei Ikeda

Kikuei Ikeda, violinist, was born in Yokosuka, Japan.  He studied at the Toho Academy of Music with Saburo Sumi and Josef Gingold, as well as chamber music and conducting with Hideo Saito.

While in Japan, he performed as a soloist with the Yomiuri Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan orchestra and Tokyo Symphony, and also toured Europe as concertmaster of the Toho String Orchestra. In 1971, Mr. Ikeda came to the United States as a scholarship student at the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied under Dorothy DeLay and members of the Juilliard String Quartet.


Mr. Ikeda has won prizes in the Mainichi, NHK and Haken competitions in Japan, the Washington International Competition for Strings in Washington, D.C., and the Vienna da Motta in Portugal.  His extensive career has included performing the Mozart Violin Concerto with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra, playing many recitals in Italy, New York and Tokyo, as well as performing chamber music with numerous ensembles.



Mr. Ikeda has been a member of the Tokyo String Quartet since 1974 until they disbanded in July 2013 and has served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music from 1976 to 2014.

With the Tokyo Quartet, he has released more than 40 landmark recordings with Harmonia Mundi, BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel-EMI, CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Grammophon and Vox Cum Laude. These recordings have earned such honors as the Grand Prix du Disque Montreux “Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year” awards from both Stereo Review and Gramophone magazines, in addition to seven Grammy nominations.  The quartet has also been featured on numerous television programs including “Sesame Street,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” PBS’s “Great Performances,” “CNN This Morning” and a national television broadcast from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, as well as on the soundtrack for the Sidney Lumet film Critical Care, starring Kyra Sedgwick and James Spader. Among the most memorable of performances, the quartet was invited in March 1977 to the White House by President Carter during a summit meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda. The quartet was awarded “The Foreign Minister’s Commendations for 2013” from the Ministry

of Foreign Affairs of Japan for their outstanding contribution to promote friendly relationships between Japan and other countries through music.


Throughout his career, Mr. Ikeda has remained devoted to coaching young musicians, where he has spent most summers with the quartet teaching and performing at the prestigious Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.  The Jasper, Linden, Miró, Parker, Shanghai, St. Lawrence, Muir and Ying Quartets are among the many currently active professional ensembles that have studied with the Tokyo Quartet at this festival.   He serves as a Jury in numerous competitions such as the 11th Banff International String Quartet Competition and the 10th International String Quartet Competition “Premio Paolo Borciani”.


Currently, Mr. Ikeda is a faculty member of the New York University Steinhardt School of Music and Performing Arts Professions, and Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Japan.