Issei is a cellist and educator based in New York City. Born into an artistic family, Issei began his musical studies at the age of five and eventually earned his performance degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with cellist Fred Sherry. An avid performer, Issei is committed to a diverse array of music both old and new, with a repertoire that ranges from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Babbitt to works by Schubert, Schumann, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky.
A passionate advocate for new music, Issei has also worked closely with composers such as Mario Davidovsky and Kaija Saariaho, and has premiered works by Eric Nathan, Roberto Sierra, and Kenji Sakai, among others. In 2016, he performed the New York premiere of Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky’s Hearing Solution with Joel Sachs and the New Juilliard Ensemble. He has performed as a member of the Orchestra of the League of Composers and AXIOM, working with musicians such as Thomas Adès, Daniel Barenboim, David Fulmer, Louis Karchin, Fred Lerdahl, Vasco Mendonça, Jeffrey Milarsky, Shulamit Ran, Chou Wen-chung, and Du Yun.
In the summer of 2017, Issei attended the Lucerne Festival Academy, performing as a member and principal cellist of the Academy Orchestra under the batons of Heinz Holliger and Matthias Pintscher. In 2016, Issei was a fellow at the inaugural Contemporary Performance Institute of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, where he studied and performed seminal works by Schoenberg, Webern, Babbitt, Davidovsky, and Wuorinen, among others. He has also participated in the London Masterclasses, where he worked with cellist Ralph Kirshbaum. His other recent performing and recording highlights include concerts in Mexico and New York with violinist Rolf Schulte featuring the music of Milton Babbitt, recital programs centered on the works of Robert Schumann, and a recording of the complete cello suites of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Issei sees music as a unique medium through which one can express his or her own innermost thoughts and feelings. He strives to impart this relationship between self and instrument to his students, whether they be first time players or experienced instrumentalists. Issei works to discover the creative potential of each student through an individually-catered and joyful approach, and believes in a holistic path of learning that balances craftsmanship, musicianship, and artistry.