Encouraged by Nobuko Imai, she became more interested in the viola, eventually giving up the violin completely in order to study with Mazumi Tanamura in Tokyo. She emigrated to the USA in 2000 and continued her studies there with Li-Kuo Chang at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She became the violist of the Eusia String Quartet that subsequently won the gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2001. In the same year, Yukiko was appointed a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her passion for the chamber music repertoire has remained the mainspring of her life.
During her tenure in Chicago, she appeared as a chamber musician with members of the CSO, and also with artists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Lang Lang and the Vermeer Quartet. In 2015 Yukiko joined the Philharmonia Orchestra.
The Philharmonia's Principal Viola Chair is endowed in perpetuity by The Tertis Foundation.
To find out how you can support the work of the Philharmonia Orchestra through endowing a Chair, visit Chair Endowment.