Ikuko Kanda Whitehouse
A Concertmaster of the Arizona Opera. A contracted member of the Phoenix Symphony for 2018-19 season. She was a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1997-2011), the Santa Fe Symphony (2000-2011), the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque (1997-2003), and the Tucson Symphony (2010-2011). Also played with the Musica de Camera Orchestra for the Santa Fe Concert Association (1998-2010), and the Colorado Music Festival (2004). She has been playing Violin and Viola for the Figueroa Project (NM), Violin and Assistant Principal Viola for the Santa Fe Pro Musica and Principal Viola for the Santa Fe Ballet Festival. She was a substitute Violinist with the Shinsei Nihon Symphony and Gunma Symphony Orchestras (1990-1994), Cheyenne Symphony (1995 -1997). Concertmaster for the Saitama Chorus Festival Orchestra (1993), principal second violin for Toshiya Eto Violin Competition Orchestra (1993).
The NMSO String Quartet and Quintet and had many educational concerts for 2nd and 3rd graders. She was a founding member of the Bella Cosi String Quartet which had many concerts in Albuquerque, was featured on “Lullaby, and Good Night” CD produced by KHFM, and was on Education and Outreach program for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Chamber Music Albuquerque. Ikuko has played Violin and Viola with many other chamber music groups such as Noisy Neighbors, Placitas Artists Series, Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, Church of Beethoven, Sunday Chatter, Chatter A Chamber music series, and Santa Fe New Music.
A faculty member of the Playweek West from 2008 to 2010 and Sandia Music Festival in 2012. She has coached orchestra students at the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, Hummingbird music camp, many middle schools and high schools in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, other towns in NM and Phoenix Area.
Born in Saitama, Japan. She began taking private violin lessons at age of four with Tetsu Ikeda, concertmaster of the Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. From age six to ten she studied with Angela Eto and Toshiya Eto from six to twenty-two. Mr. Eto was the first Japanese violinist to perform internationally and was a former faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music.
Ikuko holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo and Performers Certificate from the University of Wyoming. She started playing Viola in orchestra and chamber music classes at Toho Gakuen School and later studied at UW with James Przygocki, principal violist of the Cheyenne Symphony.
Studied chamber music with Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, a concertmaster of the NHK Symphony, Mazumi Tanamura, principal violist of the NHK Symphony, Keiko Matsunami, principal cellist of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and Kazuoki Fujii, a pianist. She also took master classes with Pinchas Zucherman, Gil Shaham, members of the Emerson String Quartet and the Borodin String Quartet.
Auditions and competitions
When Ikuko was thirteen, she won the Saitama Prefecture New Figure Concert audition, performing the first movement of Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnore. In the first year at the University of Wyoming she won their concerto competition and performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the UW Symphony. While she was at the UW, she also won the third place at the national division of the MTNA competition.
A member of the Urban Electra 2013 to 2019. uE is an electric string quartet playing rock and pop music.