9th Contest 1985 – Naoko Yoshino, Japan

Being one of the most outstanding harpists in the international platform today, Ms. Yoshino’s solo engagements with the world’s top orchestras have included the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Concentus Musicus Wien among others.

Renowned conductors with whom she has shared the stage include Menuhin, Ozawa, Sawallisch, Mehta, Sinopoli, Harnoncourt, Blomstedt, Dutoit, and Vonk.


A frequent guest at the Lucerne, Salzburg, Lockenhaus, Schleswig-Holstein, Saito Kinen, Marlboro, and Mostly Mozart Festivals, Naoko Yoshino is also known as a recitalist and chamber musician. In 1994, she earned the honor of performing at The Vatican to commemorate the restoration of the Sistine Chapel. Through chamber music, she has come to work with such renowned musicians as violinist Gidon Kremer, violists Veronika Hagen and Nobuko Imai, horn player Radek Baborak, flutists Aurèle Nicolet, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Wolfgang Schulz, and Emmanuel Pahud.

As an advocate of new repertoire for harp, Ms. Yoshino has premiered many works, including Toru Takemitsu’s “And then I knew ’twas Wind” and Toshio Hosokawa’s “Harp Concerto”.

Recordings to date include five releases on Sony Classical, four releases on Philips Classics, and one release on Teldec.

Prizes achieved include: second place – First International Harp Contest (Santa Cecilia Academy, Rome), at the age of 13; first place – Ninth International Harp Contest 1985 (Israel), where she was the youngest participant; 1988, Arts Festival Prize (Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs); 1989 Mobil Music Award for Brilliant Young Musicians.

Born in London, Naoko Yoshino began to study harp at the age of six in Los Angeles, California, with the eminent Susann McDonald, current Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University. She started her worldwide career in 1985, after winning first prize at the Ninth International Harp Contest in Israel.