Virtuoso classical pianist SHIZ’KA is an inspired new talent, who along with years of studying classical spent a summer studying jazz at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is steadily emerging as a bold, brave, passionate and engaging new performer.
Shizuka “ShiZ’ka” Saeki is a classical pianist who began playing at age 4. She studied with renowned Japanese teachers, Toshimi Sakou, Keita Kosaka, Makoto Yamahata, and Mako Okamoto, before she built up her reputation as an exciting and nuanced performer. Her talents have taken her throughout Japan and the United States. At the age of 17, ShiZ’ka was a finalist in the Japan Classical Music Society competition. In college, she studied at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, supplementing her classical training with studies in jazz. While living in Japan, she studied with famed jazz pianist Makot Takenaka and then with Yoko Yamamoto, at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Her debut album “Scarlatti Sonatas,” was released in December 2018. London’s International Piano Magazine’s review excerpt: “This is a refreshing brace of Scarlatti Sonatas, played on a modern Steinway. ShiZ’ka has no problem interiorizing, as she shows in the E Major KK162. There is no doubting that ShiZ’ka has a resonance with Scarlatti’s style, and her disciplined prestidigitation is perfectly in place. The order of the sonatas works beautifully, and indeed much of the playing is elevating.” The “Scarlatti Sonatas” CD has been featured on WWFM “Between the Keys” with Jed Distler as well as on WQXR Classical New York, FM105.9 on their program “New At Two” featuring up and coming classical artists.
In 2013 ShiZ’ka moved to New York where she resides. Recent performance venues have included St. John’s in the Village, the Mount Sinai Guggenheim Atrium, Third Street Music School Settlement, and Tenri Cultural Institute.
(New York, New York) January 30, 2020 — ShiZ’ka will return to St. John’s in the Village on March 21, 2020, at 2 PM; this concert will be held at Revelation Gallery. Her first concert SCARLATTI IN THE CITY was received with great enthusiasm and this follow up performance BRILLIANCE & FERVOR: Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Scarlatti & More will feature new pieces just added to the artist’s already expansive repertoire.
ShiZ’ka, 26 years old, is becoming known for her intense and refreshingly spontaneous delivery of some of the world’s best-known classical music. In March she will be premiering music from the composers featured in the program title plus works from Chopin and Prokofiev. Constantly challenging herself to learn and master new works, ShiZ’ka recently made the decision to stop entering competitions, a path many new young classical artists take in order to receive recognition.
She shares, “I desire to feel a bond between the composer and their compositions. When you learn for the sole purpose of competing, to “win” and being judged as better or more talented than other musicians, it takes the creative process to a darker channel for me. I realize there are financial awards and recognition that may lead to opportunities to elevate my career, however after entering a few competitions last year in New York and being told I came close to winning, I was left feeling drained of my love of the music itself. It just feels unnatural and unsettling for me and it may take me longer to find my audience. It will be a healthier and more encouraging process as I move forward in my career.” read full release