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Tomoko Iwamoto


Born in Osaka, Japan, Tomoko started playing the violin at age 6. Having a mother who was one of the early Suzuki method pupils, Tomoko soon became one of the most advanced students in the studio. Along with solo repertoire study, she also enjoyed playing with orchestras and chamber ensembles. After graduating from Osaka Kyoiku-dai Tennoji High School, Tomoko moved to Tokyo. She majored in electrical engineering at Keio University, but spent a lot of time playing jazz saxophone and singing in the R&B band. She graduated from college in 1988, and worked as an engineer in Tokyo for a year before moved to the U.S. to pursue her career as a musician.

Tomoko was a scholarship student at Berklee College of Music (1990-1993), where she studied with Sharon Leventhal (classical violin), Matt Glaser (jazz violin), Herb Pomeroy, Greg Hopkin and Ken Pullig (jazz arranging and composition).

Being a "jazzy" violinist, Tomoko has performed with groups representing styles from classical, rock, pop to jazz to world music, demonstrating a great sense of improvisation.

Tomoko leads a gypsy jazz quartet "440" and is also a member and composer/arranger of J-Way (jazz string quartet) and Axis Electric Strings (Top 40 songs). She provided arrangements and performed as a soloist with Mood Swings Orchestra (jazz big band), and wrote many grade school level arrangements for Newton All-City Orchestra.

Besides being a jazz musician, Tomoko has performed and continues to perform classical music with Plymouth Philharmonic, Lexington Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Woodvale String Quartet, just to name a few.

For more than 20 years, Tomoko has taught many students and led group classes and ensembles at Brookline Music School, where she is a current faculty member. She has also taught at Suzuki Institute of Boston, where she received Suzuki teacher training from Donald Becker.

Degrees: B.S. Keio University, Tokyo; B.A. Berklee College of Music; Suzuki Certification through Suzuki Institute of Boston

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