The brilliant young harpist, Yumiko Endo Schlaffer, has been steadily gaining a reputation as a masterful artist ever since her impressive American debut recital in May 2000, at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. Her performance was critically acclaimed, "Endo is a consummate performer, her playing was sensitive and refined."
Ms. Endo Schlaffer is also one of the most distinguished harpists in her native Japan. She gave her debut recital in Tokyo, which was sponsored by the Japanese Government - Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan Musicians Federation, and included a radio broadcast on the Japanese national network. In the same year, she was honored with the opportunity to perform at the Imperial Palace for Her Majesty the Empress and Her Royal Highnesses. In 2004, she gave her major solo recital in Tokyo to a sold out audience, and was soon after invited to perform as a soloist with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Yumiko Endo Schlaffer has been the recipient of numerous awards, including First Prize in the First Japan International Harp Competition -Young Division, as well as First Prize at the Third Japan International Harp Competition -Advanced Division. She was also awarded a fellowship from the Japanese Government Overseas Program for Artists and the Rohm Music Foundation Scholarship, in addition to the Yasuda Life Cultural Foundation Scholarship.
Ms. Endo Schlaffer began her musical training at the age of three and learned musical theory. While taking lessons with Ayako Shinozaki, she received her Bachelors degree from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She also studied extensively throughout Europe with world renowned teachers such as Marie-Claire Jamet and Isabelle Moretti of France, and Marisa Robles of England. Ms. Endo Schlaffer earned her Masters degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Nancy Allen, principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic. She then went to Chicago to pursue her studies with Sarah Bullen, principal harpist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Yumiko Endo Schlaffer has given numerous solo and chamber music performances throughout the United States and Asia, including such renowned venues as Alice Tully Hall in New York and Orchestra Hall at the Symphony Center in Chicago. As a member of the New Juilliard Ensemble, she performed many world and U.S. premiers of contemporary chamber works at Alice Tully Hall, Juilliard Theatre, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Ms. Endo Schlaffer is also an accomplished orchestral harpist, she has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as other professional orchestras. From 2001 through 2004, she was serving as the principal harpist of the New World Symphony Orchestra, where she was featured as a concerto soloist in 2002 and 2004.