Mai Motobuchi has earned distinction as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher in the United States and her native Japan. As a soloist, she has performed with such well-known artists as Yo-Yo Ma and Seiji Ozawa. Ms. Motobuchi’s career in chamber music has taken her around the world performing at the finest concert halls in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. She has toured with the Colorado String Quartet during their 1999-2000 season. Since joining Heifetz Institute Ensemble In Residence the Borromeo String Quartet in 2000, she has collaborated with the world’s finest musicians, including, Leon Fleischer, Gary Graffman, Bernard Greenhouse, Kim Kashkashian, Midori, David Shifrin, Richard Stoltzman, and Dawn Upshaw.
In addition to her active performing career, Ms. Motobuchi is in demand as a teacher on two continents, serving on the Viola and Chamber Music faculty at both the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and at the Tenrikyo Institute of Music in Tenri, Japan. A gifted teacher, she taught viola, violin and chamber music to special talented students in the preparatory division at Rice University, and since 1998 has enjoyed the distinction of having each of her students in Japan named as First Prize recipients in the All Japan MBS Youth Music Competition at every level.
Ms. Motobuchi gained recognition in Japan as first prize winner in the 1989 All Japan MBS Youth Music Competition, and in the 1990 and 1991 All Japan Ensemble Competition. Upon coming to the United States, she won the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (Junior Division), the Henri Kohn Memorial Award from the Tanglewood Music Center, and, as a student at Rice University, received the John and Sally Cox Award, the E. Dell Butcher Award, and the Willie Muery Award, in addition to being named an Alice Pratt Brown Scholar.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mai Motobuchi started playing violin at age five. Upon receiving her Diploma from Tenrikyo Institute of Music in Japan, she was awarded full scholarships to study viola at Michigan State University, where she received her Bachelor of Music, and Rice University in Houston, where she earned her Master of Music. She followed with an advanced performance diploma from Internationale Meisterkurze Koblenz in Koblenz, Germany. Ms. Motobuchi’s teachers have included Robert Dan, Martha Strongin Katz, Paul Katz, and Yoko Washio Iwatani.
Ms. Motobuchi plays a Moes and Moes viola, dated 1988.