EX CATHEDRA | Miki Takahashi - violin

From our ‘Beethoven’s Funeral & Mozart’s Requiem’ programme 2021

Miki Takahashi is a period violinist, performing as a soloist and a chamber musician world-wide. After studying at Toho-Gakuen University of Music with Koichiro Harada and at the Royal Conservatory of Music with  Professor Lorand Fenyves in Toronto (Canada), Miki specialised in historical violin and completed her postgraduate degree at the University of Arts in Berlin with Irmgard Huntgeburth in Germany.

Shortly after arriving in Berlin, she won first prize and the special prize for stylistic ornamentation at the Third International Telemann Competition in Magdeburg, Germany. The same year, she was awarded the first prize and the audience prize at the International Music Competition Musica Antiqua in Bruges.

Miki has made solo appearances with various ensembles including les Nations Japan, Musica Fiorita, Il Gardelino, Ensemble San Soucis Berlin, Brandenburg Baroque Soloists and Collegium Musicum 90. She is currently a leader of St. James’s Baroque, co-leader of Feinstein Ensemble and a founding member of 2 to Link (Historical Violin & Viola Duo) and Turini Ensemble. She is also an enthusiastic teacher and is currently a guest historical violin coach at the University of Birmingham.

1. How long have you been a member of Ex Cathedra and why did you join?

I was very lucky to be invited to play with Ex Cathedra shortly after my arrival to Birmingham, back in 2009 on Good Friday. Since then, I’ve enjoyed performing with them almost every year. I do enjoy performing with their exquisite choir, and appreciate performing locally, which is very rare for me as I often have to travel somewhere else for work. 

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

I don’t think any musicians have a “typical” day, as our work schedule is different day by day. 

However, mornings are usually similar, as I have 2 primary school age children. We get up, do homework with children, have breakfast, then supervise violin practice for my daughter (my husband does the same with my son), then drop them off at school. 

After that, if it’s a rehearsal or concert day, I’d go to the rehearsal place (often in London), then come home late in the evening.

If there are no rehearsals nor concerts, I’ll check my e-mails while having a cup of tea, plan some future concerts or organise music, teach at the University of Birmingham, and of course practice alongside doing some house work, before picking children up in the afternoon.

But of course, if I’m on a tour, that would be completely different!

3. If you could choose to perform again any piece you have performed before with Ex Cathedra, what would it be, and & why?

Difficult to chose, but Christmas Oratorio by J.S.Bach. I love playing it in the festive season, and it is not played often enough here!

4. What’s your musical “guilty secret”?

Well, I am crazy about Michael Jackson…