Violinist Keila Wakao
Born in 2006, 17-year-old Keila Wakao is from Boston, MA, and began playing the violin at the age of 3. At age 6, the late Mr. Joseph Silverstein accepted Keila as a student. She started to take lessons from Prof. Donald Weilerstein at age 9. Currently, she is a high school student at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and studies with Donald Weilerstein and Soovin Kim at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. Keila has also been receiving Kyoko Takezawa's private instruction in Japan.
Keila Wakao was awarded the 1st prize and the Junior Composer Award in the 2021 Menuhin International Violin Competition. She was also the 1st prize winner of the Stulberg International String Competition and was awarded the Bach Prize in 2021. In 2023, she was awarded the Aoyama Music Foundation Award in Japan for upcoming artists and is a recipient of Charlotte White's Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant in New York.
At age 9, Keila gave her first solo performance with an orchestra, and since then, she has performed with orchestras including Reading, Eugene, Chattanooga, Adelphi, Kalamazoo, Resound Collective, Baden-Baden, Baltimore Chamber, Boston Civic and Lexington Symphony Orchestras. Most Recently, Keila won the Boston Symphony Concerto Competition and performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.2 - Andante assai with the BSO in Symphony Hall.
Keila has performed solos and recitals throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, Singapore and the United Kingdom in venues such as Cadogan Hall (London), Victoria Concert Hall (Singapore), Jordan Hall (Boston), and Carnegie Weill Recital Hall (New York City).
In 2017, Keila was invited to speak and perform at TEDxBoston, and during the summers of 2018 to 2022, she participated in the Perlman Music Program.
In future seasons, Keila will be performing concertos throughout the US, including the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, and the Baden-Baden Philharmonic in Germany. She will also be performing recitals at Key West Impromptu Classical Concerts in FL, among others.
Keila plays on a 1745 fine old Italian violin by G.B Guadagnini on generous loan from the Florian Leonhard Fellowship.