The Munich Philharmonic announced that Japanese violinist Naoka Aoki will take up the position of Concertmaster, making history as the first woman to step into the role.
A Tokyo native, Aoki was born in 1992. She stayed in her home city until 2011, where she studied with Masafumi Hori. After moving to London, she furthered her studies with Mark Messenger at the Royal College of Music, garnering the school's top prize, the Tagore Gold Medal. She then went on to study with Mayumi Fujikawa at the Royal Academy of Music.
Aoki is also a keen chamber musician, and while based in London, she was the first violinist of the Son Quartet — who won the Royal College of Music String Quartet Competition.
Among her many competition successes, Aoki notably took home Second Prize at the 2014 Long-Thibaud-Crespin competition, as well as the Prince Albert II of Monaco Special Prize for the best interpretation of a concerto.
She has also appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras in Asia, including the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chiba New Philharmonic.