Yuko Saito, viola
Yuko Saito holds a dual degree in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy from East Carolina University. She studied violin with Ara Gregorian of the Concertante Chamber Players and Suzuki pedagogy with Carol Dallinger, Joanne Bath and Joanne Martin. After graduation she became a member of the ASCAP award-winning South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, freelanced with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and served as Associate Concertmaster of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra in the USA. Yuko Saito has performed as a soloist with The Southwest Minnesota Orchestra and the Yankton String Orchestra Festival. As a Suzuki teacher she has been invited as a guest clinician at various camps and workshops in South Dakota. She was also involved in developing the Avera Family Based Wellness Program, an innovative and comprehensive research programme inspired by El Sistema offering violin instruction to students at risk. From 2006 to 2009 she served on the violin/viola faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University. Yuko Saito moved to Hong Kong in 2012 to teach at the KinderU Suzuki Music Academy and became a core player of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong in 2014. She is also a keen Irish fiddler and bodhran player, and is often seen around town performing Celtic music with local groups including the Tram Hoppers and Over the Border.