Reiko Yamada has served as the principal keyboardist of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra since 1995. Ms. Yamada has performed extensively in the United States and Japan.
She was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 1992 to 1998 and served as a principal keyboardist in the last three years of that period. She has also appeared as a supplemental keyboardist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Yamada is an ardent proponent of the music of Akira Ifukube. She developed a deep affinity for this composer’s works after attending four years of his seminars while studying at the Tokyo College of Music. She takes an active interest in performing Ifukube’s works in concert and has performed the composer’s Ritmica Ostinata for Piano and Orchestra to acclaim with the Tochigi Symphony Orchestra in 2006 and 2010, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in 2008, and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in 2014.
Ms. Yamada has recorded three critically praised CDs of Ifukube’s music, the first of which spent a week as a number-one best seller of contemporary music at Tower Records in Japan.
Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Tokyo College of Music, Ms. Yamada came to Chicago in 1990 to further her studies. She received a master’s degree from the Chicago Music College (Chicago College of Performing Arts) of Roosevelt University. She then entered the performance certificate program at DePaul University where she studied piano with the Chicago Symphony’s principal pianist Mary Sauer. She has also served on the faculty at Saint Xavier University and Music Institute of Chicago.