Risa Hokamura, violin with Albert Cano Smit, piano

The Artists

Risa Hokamura began studying the violin at the age of three, and by the age of ten captured top prizes in competitions throughout her home country of Japan. She first came to international attention upon winning First Prize in the 2018 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions at the age of seventeen, as well as the Tannery Pond Concerts Prize, The Ruth Laredo Memorial Prize, and The Ronald A. Asherson Prize, and the Silver Medal at the 2018 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, where she performed with the Indianapolis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Risa has since performed as concerto soloist orchestras including the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra.

Risa made her New York City debut at Merkin Hall and her Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. In addition she has performed chamber music at Music@Menlo, Clarion Concerts, and The Morgan Library & Museum and in recital at Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, University of Florida Performing Arts (Gainesville, FL), Arts at Abingdon (Gloucester, VA), and Arts Council of Moore County (Southern Pines, NC).

During the 23-24 season Risa will make concerto appearances with the Kennett Symphony (PA) and The Apollo Orchestra (Washington, DC), and will appear in recital with the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Ithaca College, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, The Morgan Library & Museum (NYC), and Port Washington Library.

A native of Japan, Risa studied at the Tokyo College of Music as the Honorary Scholarship student under the tutelage of Koichiro Harada, Mayuko Kamio, and Machie Oguri. She continued her studies this year at the Manhattan School of Music as the Full Scholarship student under the tutelage of Koichiro Harada and Lucie Robert, and additional studies with Cho-Liang Lin. She is also a recipient of scholarships from the Ezoe Memorial Foundation and the Rohm Music Foundation. Risa Hokamura is represented in Japan by Kajimoto. Risa plays the 1722 “Jupiter” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

pianist Albert Cano Smit

A musician who has been praised as “a moving young poet” (Le Devoir), Spanish/Dutch pianist Albert Cano Smit enjoys a growing international career on the orchestral, recital, and chamber music stages. Noted for his captivating performances, storytelling quality and nuanced musicality, the First Prize winner of the 2019 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions has appeared as a soloist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, Montréal Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony, Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony.

Recital highlights have included his Carnegie Hall debut presented by The Naumburg Foundation, his Merkin Concert hall debut presented by Young Concert Artists, recitals at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Paris’ Fondation Louis Vuitton (the performance was streamed live globally), the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC, Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival, and return performances at the Steinway Society in San Jose. He has been in residence at France’s Festival de Musique de Wissembourg for seven years, a piano fellow at Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Tippet Rise Art Center, and has had his recital debut in Asia at Xiamen’s Banlam Grand Theater.

Albert has been presented in recital by Festival Bach Montréal, University of Florida Performing Arts, the Krannert Center (Urbana, IL), and Matinée Musicale (Cincinnati, OH). He recently premiered Katherine Balch’s "Spolia" with flutist Anthony Trionfo taking them to the Morgan Library and Carnegie Hall. Recent recitals with Trionfo have included the Alys Stephens Center, Kravis Center, Evergreen Museum & Library, and others. Cano Smit is set to continue touring with violinist William Hagen, with whom he has recorded the CD “Danse Russe”.

During the 22-23 season Albert will appear in recital and chamber music performances at Merkin Hall (New York, NY), the Cosmos Club (Washington, DC), the Crystal Valley Concert Series (Middlebury, IN), Friends of Music Concerts (Sleepy Hollow, NY), Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL), and Abbey Church Events (Lacey, WA), and will also participate in the inaugural chamber music ensemble of YCA on Tour. He will appear as soloist playing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 4 in G Minor with the Seattle Symphony (Seattle, WA), Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Aiken Symphony (Aiken, SC), and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major with the Elgin Symphony (Elgin, IL).

An advocate for new music, Albert has premiered numerous solo works on his recital programs, commissioned for him by Stephen Hough, Miquel Oliu, and Katherine Balch. He has given four hand performances with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the Wallis Annenberg Center Hall and Zipper Hall, taken part in the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York and the Bridgehampton Chamber Festival, and performed with such artists as Gary Hoffman, Andrej Bielow, Thomas Mesa, and Lev Sivkov. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such ensembles as the Ebene, Szymanowski, Casals, Cosmos, Gerhard, and Verona Quartets, and has released an album of Austrian viola music for Champs Hills with Emma Wernig.

Albert was First Prize winner at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition. Additional special prizes at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions include The Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Concert Prize for support of his Kennedy Center debut, the Friends of Music Concert Prize (NY), and the Sunday Musicale Prize (NJ).

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Albert recently completed an Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the 2020 Rubinstein Prize for Piano. Early on, he studied music at Montserrat mountain’s Escolanía de Montserrat choir, where he sang as an alto. Later, he studied piano with Graham Caskie, Marta Karbownicka, and Ory Shihor. He is an alum of the Verbier Festival Academy and holds a BA in Piano Performance from the Colburn School, as well as a MM from the Juilliard School. He currently resides in New York City.

The Program

Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006
     I. Prelude
 II. Loure
III. Gavotte

Johann Sebastian Bach

Caprice No. 2 in B Minor

Caprice No. 10 in G Minor

Niccolò Paganini

Violin Sonata No. 7 in C Minor, op. 30, no. 2

Ludwig van Beethoven
Rondo for Violin and Piano Ma Sicong
Sonata No. 2 in G Major Maurice Ravel
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A Minor, op. 28 Camille Saint-Saëns