• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever


Violinist Keila Wakao

birthday cake
Born On January 24, 2006
United States
Born in United States
United States
United States
Violin 1745 G.B Guadagnini
Bow Ron Forrester (2010s)
graduation cap
Walnut Hill School for the Arts, New England Conservatory Preparatory School
music note
Joseph Silverstein, Donald Weilerstein, Soovin Kim
Notable awards/competitions won
Menuhin International Violin Competition, Stulberg International String Competition, Aoyama Music Foundation Award, Charlotte White's Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, Boston Symphony Concerto Competition

Born in 2006, 17-year-old Keila Wakao is from Boston, MA, and began playing the violin at the age of 3. At age 6, the late Mr. Joseph Silverstein accepted Keila as a student. She started to take lessons from Prof. Donald Weilerstein at age 9. Currently, she is a high school student at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and studies with Donald Weilerstein and Soovin Kim at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. Keila has also been receiving Kyoko Takezawa's private instruction in Japan.

Keila Wakao was awarded the 1st prize and the Junior Composer Award in the 2021 Menuhin International Violin Competition. She was also the 1st prize winner of the Stulberg International String Competition and was awarded the Bach Prize in 2021. In 2023, she was awarded the Aoyama Music Foundation Award in Japan for upcoming artists and is a recipient of Charlotte White's Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant in New York.

At age 9, Keila gave her first solo performance with an orchestra, and since then, she has performed with orchestras including Reading, Eugene, Chattanooga, Adelphi, Kalamazoo, Resound Collective, Baden-Baden, Baltimore Chamber, Boston Civic and Lexington Symphony Orchestras. Most Recently, Keila won the Boston Symphony Concerto Competition and performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.2 - Andante assai with the BSO in Symphony Hall.

Keila has performed solos and recitals throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, Singapore and the United Kingdom in venues such as Cadogan Hall (London), Victoria Concert Hall (Singapore), Jordan Hall (Boston), and Carnegie Weill Recital Hall (New York City).

In 2017, Keila was invited to speak and perform at TEDxBoston, and during the summers of 2018 to 2022, she participated in the Perlman Music Program.

In future seasons, Keila will be performing concertos throughout the US, including the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, and the Baden-Baden Philharmonic in Germany. She will also be performing recitals at Key West Impromptu Classical Concerts in FL, among others.

Keila plays on a 1745 fine old Italian violin by G.B Guadagnini on generous loan from the Florian Leonhard Fellowship.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I love to read, watch movies, and spend time with my cat, Momo. She’s always with me, and even monitors my practicing by sitting next to me :-)
If you were not a musician, what profession do you feel you’d be doing now?
I’ve actually never thought about this. Maybe some sort of designer? I love fashion and art.
What would your dream gig be?
I have so many dream gigs! But my top 2 would be performing a concerto as part of a subscription series with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and performing chamber music with the musicians I look up to the most.
What is a song that makes you turn the radio up?
Just the Two of Us by Grover Washington Jr. or any song by New Jeans!
What would you say makes you unique as a musician?
In each performance, my goal is to present the composer's intentions to the audience, allowing them to experience the music as the composer might’ve envisioned. However, I also always infuse my own artistic interpretation and enjoyment into every moment on stage. With every performance, I try to have the mindset of performing as if it were my last, approaching each opportunity with gratitude, love, and a willingness to embrace new possibilities. Also, in addition to being a performer, I want to also become someone who can curate and organize concerts that bring together talented musicians from around the world. Through these performances, I aim to use music as a way of uniting people from various backgrounds.
Do you keep all 3 meals phone free? No social media scrolling.
I try, but sometimes I just can’t help it…Instagram is very tempting.
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail

Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right