Natsuki Kumagai joined the violin section of the Minnesota Orchestra in the 2017-2018 season. Born and raised in Chicago, she has been praised by the New York Times as having “a poise and assurance that marks her as a violinist to watch closely”. Her extensive range of repertoire earned her a position with the New Fromm Players, the quartet-in-residence for contemporary music at the Tanglewood Institute. This included world and US premieres of works by world-renowned composers Marc Neikrug and Joseph Phibbs.
An avid orchestral musician, Natsuki has served numerous concertmaster positions, such as the New World Symphony, New York String Orchestra Seminar, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, where she was awarded the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize. She was also a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. Kumagai is also an active chamber musician, winning prizes at the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, St. Paul Chamber Music Competition, and the Society of American Musicians Competition.
As an undergraduate, she attended the New England Conservatory in Boston where she studied with Boston Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Malcolm Lowe. Natsuki’s past teachers have included Almita and Roland Vamos and Marko Dreher at the Music Institute of Chicago’s ‘Academy’ program. She received her master’s degree at the Juilliard School studying with Ida Kavafian and was the recipient of the H. & E. Kivekas Scholarship and the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship.