With her exceptional talent, musical integrity, and charisma, Nobuko Imai is considered to be one of the most outstanding violist of our time.
After finishing her studies at the Toho School of Music, Yale University and the Juilliard School, she won the highest prizes at both the prestigious international competition in Munich and Geneva.
Formerly a member of the esteemed Vermeer Quartet, Ms. Imai combines a distinguished international solo career with various teaching commitments. She has appeared with numerous wolrd's prestigious orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, the London Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony. As a keen chmaber musician, Ms. Imai has performed with various prominent artists such as Gidon Kremer, Midori, Isaac Stern, Mischa Maisky, and Martha Argerich. In 2003, she formed the Michelangelo Quartet. The quartet gained the international reputation quickly and now became one of finest quartets in the world. Ms. Imai has dedicated a large part of her artistic activities to explore the diverse potential of the viola.
She returns to Japan several times a year, to perform as soloist and notably for the annual "Viola Space" project. In 1995/1996 Nobuko Imai was artistic director of three Hindemith Festivals at the Wigmore Hall in London, at Columbia University in New York and at the Casals Hall in Tokyo. In 2009 she founded The Tokyo International Viola Competition, the first international competition in Japan exclusively for viola. An impressive discography of over 40 CDs shows her recordings for BIS, Chandos, Hyperion, Philips, Sony among others. Ms. Imai taught as a Professor at the Detmold Academy of Music from 1983 to 2003 and at the Geneva University of Music from 2003 to June 2014. She currently teaches at Amsterdam Conservatory, Kronberg International Academy, Queen Sofia College of Music in Madrid and Ueno Gakuen University in Tokyo.