Guest Concertmaster – November & December 2017
January & February 2018
For the past 30+ years, Reiko Niiya has enriched the cultural life of Southwest Florida as the concertmaster for the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. She also serves as the concertmaster for the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC annual benefit concert and as one of the concertmasters at Wolf Trap in Virginia.
In her family, all the women played either violin or piano and a career as a professional musician was “in her mother’s plan” to study the violin, go to the best music schools available and then move from her native Japan to America and become a professional violinist.
She attended the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and Indiana University. As a freelance musician, she has become concertmaster of six different orchestras and at one time was concertmaster of three orchestras during the same season. She has performed across the country with artists such as Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Sarah Brightman, and Aretha Franklin.
Niiya came to Florida after she had completed a two-year contract in Venezuela over 30 years ago. When she accepted the job of concertmaster with the Florida Southwest Orchestra, she said she knew she was going to stay for a long, long time. “I knew I would be with this symphony while it grew up”.