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shunske Sato

violinist
conductor
teacher

In short

Shunske is a versatile musician. He is a violinist, equally at home as a soloist or an ensemble leader, whether on the baroque or modern violin. As a conductor, he works with both instrumental and vocal ensembles.

Historically informed practice of all eras inspires Shunske; the parameters of the past are essential for him in bringing the music into the present. He is particularly involved in cutting-edge research of 19th century performance practices, and gives lectures and workshops on the topic.

Conductor Sato focused on inspiring the players to feel and express the music in long phrases rather than in bars and beats. The rapport and warmth was evident.
BACHTRACK, Nahoko Gotoh
March 2023

Music that moves

For Shunske, music is communication, and that requires empathy, context, nuance and good presentation. Music must move both the performer and the listener: “A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved,” wrote Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1753. It’s still true today.

Taking risks

“Beauty lies at the edge of disaster” was Nicholas Harnoncourt’s motto. Taking risks in concert is necessary: the beauty that might result will always outshine any “disasters” that could happen in trying.

A performance succeeds when one is uncompromisingly genuine – for better or worse. Make yourself vulnerable. Be yourself. Be in the here and now. That alone is difficult enough!
However idiosyncratic his ornamentation and phrasing may be at times, he still sounds completely natural. Even in the smallest note values, his tone retains core and color. (...) Sato drags, pulls, lingers a while and lands gracefully and in time so that he can take off again on the downbeat. Shunske Sato is a hummingbird.
DE VOLKSKRANT, Merlijn Kerkhof
November 2018

Language & speech

Raised with Japanese and English at home, and having lived and studied in France, Germany and the Netherlands, Shunske speaks 5 languages. He loves language and linguistics, and is passionate about working with text and singers. Shunske’s preoccupation with the spoken word has also taken him down the (long) path of historical pronunciation and dramatic oratory.

Music & more

Shunske enjoys combining music with other performing arts, as it allows him to expand and explore the music’s innate possibilities and share it with his audiences. He has collaborated in creating an opera based on J.S. Bach’s music, and has worked with children’s theaters, stage directors and dancers. Making arrangements or re-instrumenting existing works is something that Shunske excels in and does with great joy.

listen to his work on Bach’s Art of Fugue
a live picture of the staged production Kaffee cantate
Shivers of joy listening to [J.S. Bach’s] Christmas Oratorio: under violinist Shunske Sato’s direction the work sounds immaculate, energetic and yet soothing.
VOLKSKRANT, Maartje Stokkers
December 2022

Leading & teaching

Shunske is an inspiring leader and teacher, and sees that both duties have very similar responsibilities: to show what beauty music can bring; to be generous, genuine, encouraging and patient; to open doors for others and allow them, by their own will, to walk through.

Why do music? Because it demands you to observe, to understand, to empathize and to take action – it makes you a better person.

Calendar

Fri
Jul 5
2024
Germany
Unerhörte Romantik
Godard Violin Concerto

Duisburger Philharmoniker & Concerto Köln

Kent Nagano, conductor

Shunske Sato, solo violin

Philharmonie Mercatorhalle, Duisburg
tickets
Sat
Jul 6
2024
Germany
Unerhörte Romantik
Godard Violin Concerto

Duisburger Philharmoniker & Concerto Köln

Kent Nagano, conductor

Shunske Sato, solo violin

Philharmonie Mercatorhalle, Duisburg
tickets
Wed
Jul 10
2024
The Netherlands
Duo Recital with Shuann Chai
Elgar & Debussy
Nicolaaskerk, Vlieland
tickets
Have I sold it enough? I hope so, because this is properly heavenly.                         
GRAMOPHONE, Charlotte Gardner
about Bach's Violin Concertos with Il Pomo d’Oro

Contact

direct inquiries

Personal assistant &
artist manager
Marloes Biermans