Makito Nishitani

Makito Nishiya ,Cello

Born in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.

Started playing the cello at the age of 5 at the Suzuki Method Headquarters in Matsumoto (studying under Takao Mizushima). At the age of 8, he moved to Nara due to his father's job transfer.

At that time, there were no Suzuki Method classes in Nara, so every weekend I went to Osaka for lessons (I studied under the late Mr. Minoru Sugiyama and Mr. Kenji Morita).

Entered Nara Prefectural High School from Nara Municipal Futana Junior High School.

During this time, he became interested in rock and electric guitar and became involved in a band, but when he was in his first year of high school, he took a course taught by a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, which turned him into a professional cellist for the first time.

After that, he entered the Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts, and studied at the University of the Arts for six years until completing graduate school (studied under Fumiaki Kono and Tomoya Kikuchi).

Moved to the United States after completing graduate school. Studied at Indiana University and completed the Performer Diploma Course in 2004 (studied under Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Janos Starker).

He has also taken masterclasses with many cellists, including Yo-Yo Ma, David Geringas, Valentin Fagin, Hakuro Mouri, and Noboru Uemura.

In chamber music, he studied under Keiko Urushibara, Ichiro Nodaira, Masami Tanamura, Shigeo Neriki, Iqwan Bey, and Federico Agostini.

In 2005, he returned to Japan after studying abroad for three and a half years, and joined the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra (commonly known as the Hyogo PAC Orchestra) led by conductor Yutaka Sado in September of the same year.
In 2008, he was selected as the No. 1 artist at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center One Coin Concert and held a commemorative recital.

He has performed as a concerto soloist with Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Tadaaki Otaka, Yutaka Sado, Yasuko Otani String Quartet, Ryota Komatsu's Tango Band, Live Image, Taro Hakase Violin Summit, Hanamizuki. He has performed in a wide range of activities, including a chamber ensemble, the hard string ensemble "Ishida-gumi", participation in the Kirishima International Music Festival, and appearances on TV Asahi's "Untitled Concert".

In 2013, he invited pianist Shigeo Neriki as a co-star and held recitals in Tokyo and Kyoto. It was well received and won the 2013 Aoyama Music Award.

In 2015, as a challenge to a new musical field, he formed the unit "shimizunishiya" with Yasuaki Shimizu, principal violinist of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. CD debut with "KODO", a multi-recording of all original songs and only two performances. He also composes, arranges, and performs live.
From 2008 to 2016, he was a part-time lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts, and from 2008 to 2019 he was the principal cellist of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Currently independent, he is developing performance activities that transcend genres, from Bach to jazz, tango, pops, and self-made performances.

Official website
Facebook Makito Nishitani

photo credit

©Daisuke Yamagishi

Back to blog