Yumiko Endo Schlaffer has been steadily gaining a reputation as a masterful artist ever since her impressive American debut recital in May 2000 at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, shortly after her completing her Masters degree from the Juilliard School. She has been a recipient of numerous awards, including First Prizes in the Japan International Harp Competition – in both Young and Advanced divisions. Ms. Endo Schlaffer is one of the most distinguished harpists in her native Japan, and she was honored with the opportunity to perform at the Imperial Palace for Her Majesty the Empress and Her Royal Highnesses. In 2004 and 2006, she gave her major solo recitals in Tokyo to sold out audiences, and was soon after invited to perform as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Endo Schlaffer has performed throughout the US, Europe and Asia, and her recent solo engagements include appearances with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra with Mathieu Dufour, principal flutist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Allen Philharmonic, and Irving Symphony Orchestra. She had been also invited as a solo artist by Chicago Chamber Musicians, Basically Beethoven Festival in Dallas, The Wartburg Symphony, Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony.
As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Endo Schlaffer has also given numerous chamber music performances throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including such major venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York and Orchestra Hall at the Symphony Center in Chicago. As a member of the New Juilliard Ensemble, she performed many world and U.S. premiers of contemporary chamber works at Alice Tully Hall, Juilliard Theatre, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
She is also an accomplished orchestral harpist, she has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as well as New York Philharmonic. From 2001 through 2004, she served as the principal harpist of the New World Symphony Orchestra, where she was featured as a concerto soloist in 2002 and 2004.
Ms. Endo Schlaffer began her musical training at the age of three and learned musical theory and Piano. While taking lessons with Ayako Shinozaki, she received her Bachelors degree from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She also studied extensively throughout Europe with world-renowned teachers such as Marie-Claire Jamet and Isabelle Moretti of France, and Marisa Robles of England. Ms. Endo Schlaffer earned her Masters degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Nancy Allen, principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic. She then pursued her further studies with Sarah Bullen, principal harpist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Endo Schlaffer has been serving as a board member of American Harp Society in Dallas since 2007.