Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa enjoys a career that spans a broad spectrum of musical personas. A violinist turned violist, she was inspired to dedicate herself to the alto clef when she discovered the beauty of playing the viola part in string quartets during her undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her commitment to pursue a life in viola led to a graduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music as well as a Further Masters degree from the esteemed Kronberg Academy Masters school in Germany.
Ayane’s solo career took off when she won the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition, where she also captured awards for best chamber music and commissioned work performances. Following the competition, she joined the Astral Artists roster and became a grant recipient from the S&R Foundation, an organization recognizing and supporting young aspiring artists of all mediums. Her international solo opportunities have been a platform to unearth seldom heard works and commission new pieces, an aspect of viola playing that she loves. Most recently, she commissioned a work by Brooklyn composer Paul Wiancko for viola and cello, which she premiered in Washington DC at the S&R Foundation.
Chamber music has also been a vital part of Ayane’s musical career, and her interests have led her to appearances at numerous festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, the Kingston Music Festival, and the Ravinia Festival. She is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, the current Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music and prizewinner of the 2015 London Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. The Quartet has proved to be a multi-faceted group, most recently curating their own show of Terry Riley’s In C in collaboration with eighth blackbird. Ayane is also the principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, a position that she has held since fall 2012.
Ayane is deeply grateful for the mentorship she received from her past teachers, Nobuko Imai, Kirsten Docter, Roberto Diaz, Misha Amory, and William Preucil. Outside of music, she loves to bake pastries, create fonts, run long distances, and visit the ocean — all interests that fuel her musical creativity.