AYANE KOZASA, viola
Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa is a sought-after chamber musician, collaborator, and educator. Since winning the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition—where she also captured awards for best chamber music and commissioned work performances—Ayane has appeared on stages across the world, from Carnegie, Wigmore, and Suntory Hall to Ravinia, Aspen, and the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a passionate advocate for the expansion of viola repertoire, and has commissioned multiple new works featuring the viola, including “American Haiku” by Paul Wiancko and “K’Zohar Harakia” by Judd Greenstein.
Ayane Kozasa is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, who were the 2018 quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum and the grand prize winners of both the Osaka String Quartet Competition and MPrize Chamber Arts Competition. The Aizuri Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting—which features the music of 5 American composers, all commissioned by the quartet—was nominated for a Grammy Award and named one of NPR’s top 10 classical albums of 2018. The Aizuri Quartet is devoted to education as well, working with young musicians from around the world and regularly leading student composer workshops at institutions such as the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and New York Youth Symphony. In 2020, the quartet launched AizuriKids, an interactive web series for children that explores relationships between music and themes ranging from astrophysics to cooking.
Ayane is also a member of the duo Ayane & Paul with composer and cellist Paul Wiancko, with whom she performed on Norah Jones’ recent album “Pick Me Up Off the Floor.” A seasoned orchestral performer as well, Ayane has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, A Far Cry, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Philadelphia Orchestra, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, where she served as principal violist from 2012 to 2016.
Much of Ayane’s current work involves mentoring aspiring young musicians through programs like the Green Lake Chamber Music Camp, Olympic Music Festival and Musikiwest Summer Festival. She is currently on the viola faculty at Adelphi University in Long Island, and has served as guest faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ayane is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Kronberg Academy in Germany, and Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied viola with Misha Amory, Roberto Diaz, Nobuko Imai, and Kirsten Docter. Aside from music, she enjoys baking, running, camping, and creating animation.