The violinist Yukiko Ishibashi grew up in the Japanese prefecture of Osaka. Her extraordinary talent on the violin was noticed from a very early age, and she received the necessary support. At the age of fourteen, she toured Europe for the first time as soloist with the Soai Junior Orchestra.
She then moved to Tokyo where she was accepted to the famous Toho Gakuen School of Music. In 1998, Yukiko Ishibashi was awarded her Soloist’s Diploma Degree with distinction. She studied with the well-known Professor Koichiro Harada, the first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet and travelled several times to Europe and to the USA in order to participate in festivals and competitions. Under the French conductor Jean Fournet, she made her debut with the Toho Gakuen Orchestra.
Awards at the Lipitzer, the Fritz Kreisler and the Sendai International Violin Competitions and concerts in Aspen, Vienna, Lubeck and St. Petersburg followed, which took her to Europe after finishing her studies in Japan. With Prof. Zakhar Bron in Lubeck, and further in Prof. Gyorgy Pauk's violin class in Switzerland, Yukiko Ishibashi matured into a widely known soloist and chamber musician. In 2002, she graduated from the Zurich University of Arts with a Soloist’s Degree.
Yukiko Ishibashi has received scholarships from the Aoyama and the Rohm Foundations in Japan, and was supported by the Japanese Ministry of Culture.
In 2002, Yukiko Ishibashi, violist Ursula Sarnthein and cellist Judith Gerster won First Prizes as a String Trio at the Hug-Duttweiler and the Kiwanis Competitions for Chamber Music. In 2003, Yukiko Ishibashi won First Prize at the prestigious Mozart Competition in Japan.
At the age of 25, Yukiko Ishibashi became a member of the First Violin Section with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and settled definitely in Switzerland.
Besides her part-time engagement at the Tonhalle Orchestra, Yukiko Ishibashi passionately pursues her path in chamber music. Trio Oreade, which in 2012 welcomed cellist Christine Hu alongside Ursula Sarnthein, won the International Competition for String Trios in Munich, and gained international attention. In 2017, the three musicians were loaned instruments by Antonius Stradivari by the Habisreutinger Stradivari Foundation. The trio's second CD, a recording of the Divertimento by Mozart, unifies these extraordinary instruments by showing the brilliance and stylistic cleverness of the three musicians. Trio Oreade is regularly invited to chamber music festivals in Europe, England and Japan, such as Meggenhorn, Melk, Hozhausen, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad and the Zurich Tonhalle. The trio benefits from contacts with well-known artists, such as Heinrich Schiff, Thomas Grossenbacher and Giovanni Antonini. From 2013 to 2015, they were part of a Postgraduate Programme in Basel under Professor Rainer Schmidt, violinist with the Hagen String Quartet. In 2014, they won the Chamber Music Competition of the August Pickhart Foundation.
Yukiko Ishibashi plays the "King George" Stradivari from 1710. By pure coincidence, this was the very first Stradivarius instrument owned by a Japanese artist 90 years ago. The talented violinist, conductor and composer Koichi Kishi played the "King George" from 1927 to 1931. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Yukiko Ishibashi intensely studied Kishi's works. Some compositions are unpublished and only exist as manuscripts. In partnership with the London-based pianist Yuki Negishi, Yukiko Ishibashi recorded the works by Kishi, a project supported by Swiss Radio "SRF2 Kultur" and by the Habisreutinger Stradivari Foundation.
Following the works for Violin and Piano, Kishi's String Quartet will soon be recorded in Japan. In January 2023, Yukiko Ishibashi performed the chamber music work "Your Friends From Far Away" by Toshio Hosokawa in the Main Hall of the Zurich Tonhalle with fellow musicians. This piece was played for the first time in Switzerland.