Reiko Ichise viola da gamba

Reiko was born in Tokyo and began her musical training as a pianist. She read musicology at the Kunitachi College of Music where she started playing the viola da gamba, having lessons with Yukimi Kanbe and Tetsuya Nakano.

In 1991 she came to Britain to study gamba with Richard Boothby, winning the foundation scholarship at the Royal College of Music. Whilst there, she won the concerto prize and completed her post graduate study with distinction. Since leaving the RCM, she has established herself as one of the leading gamba players in the UK, appearing in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Royal Opera House as a chamber musician, orchestral player and soloist. She has worked with many leading conductors and orchestras including Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, Sir David Willcocks and the English Chamber Orchestra, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort, Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music.

 

In profile

"This may sound a bit odd, but it's thanks to Martha Argerich that I started playing the viol. I went to hear her recital in Tokyo as a piano student and was totally stunned by her power and beauty. I was speechless... On the way back home that night, I saw a flyer with a photo of a lady playing a strange-looking instrument. I learned that there was a 'musicology' course at my music college, and that the strange instrument was a bass viol. Sated in the most wonderful way by Argerich's playing, I decided to change my course to musicology, where I picked up the viol for fun; fun quickly became love. I am still in love, and so grateful to be here playing with the wonderful musicians of the AAM."