Widely praised for her brilliant technique and expressive playing, Reiko Watanabe was at 15 the youngest grand prizewinner in the history of the All-Japan Music Competition. Her American appearances include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Vancouver Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among many others. In Europe she appeared with orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, the Orchestra Philharmonic de Radio France, the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Bamberg Symphony. Also she toured in Japan as a soloist with numerous renowned orchestras including the Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony.
As a recording artist, her debut album was the live recording of Berg’s Violin Concerto and his rarely found Chamber Concerto for Violin, Piano and 13 Winds, with Dresden Staatskapelle and the late Giuseppe Sinopoli on the Teldec Label. Subsequently she recorded Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich Concertos with St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and conductor Alexander Demitriev and the “My Favorites,” a collection of short works for violin and piano. She performs on Stradivarius 1725 violin “Wilhelmj,” on load from the Nippon Music Foundation.
She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as a student of Joseph Fuchs at The Juilliard School.