Yoshiko Arahata

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
Performing Arts


A sensitive and versatile pianist in styles ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, Yoshiko Arahata enjoys a multifaceted career as an internationally active pianist, educator, improvisor, and composer. Her solo engagements have taken her to stages throughout the US, Asia, and Europe and she has made concerto appearances with both traditional orchestras and contemporary ensembles featuring living composers Wolfgang Rihm, Steve Reich, and Aaron Jay Kernis. Her honors include a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Los Angeles for her dedication to music.

A sought-after collaborative and chamber musician, Arahata has performed with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists, including the renowned violinist Charles Castleman, musicians from Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic, and percussionist Joshua Graham on “Music After 2000” Midwest tour through the LuminArts Cultural Foundation grant. Highlights from her chamber music engagements include performances at the Garth Newel Music Center Chamber Music Festival, Ensemble-in-Residence tour in Texas as a founding member of Elgin trio, and radio broadcasts including k-Mozart 105.1FM and WXXI-FM 91.5. In 2020, her production “Contemporary Musician’s Guide to Love” featuring a modern opera and art songs with the acclaimed mezzosoprano Jessica Ann Best has received a critical claim: "the pianist possesses an exacting facility at the keyboard, playing with a vibrancy not often heard..." (Rochester CITY Newspaper)

Dedicated to paving pathways in new music, Arahata actively performs contemporary music and improvises and composes in a variety of styles and contexts, including jazz and collaborations with dancers. In addition, she has frequently composed and performed with choreographer Mariah Steele on dance shows, including “Time to Change” at the 2019 Rochester KeyBank Fringe Festival and “re:incarnation” with the QuickSilver Dance Company. She has presented on various improvisation pedagogy topics at 2019 International Society for Improvised Music Conference, 2021 Conero Piano Pedagogy Conference, and 2021 NYSMTA/MTNA Symposium.

A committed educator, Arahata has held diverse teaching, coaching, and collaborative piano positions and has worked with a wide range of ages and levels. She has taught at SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, Northwestern University, and the Eastman School of Music (collegiate and community divisions), where she maintained a full studio throughout her time and her teaching was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Assistant Award. She has also been a frequent piano faculty member at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and in master classes and guest lectures at various colleges and piano festivals in the US, including Texas State International Piano Festival. She is a frequent adjudicator of local, national, and international piano and music competitions.

As a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music (Piano) at Alfred University, Arahata currently teaches Class Piano, Fundamentals of Music & Technology, Applied Piano and directs the AU Jazz Ensemble. She is also a Faculty of Piano at the Hochstein School of Music and serves on the Creative Music Making committee at the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy. Arahata holds degrees in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music (BM, DMA) and Northwestern University (MM) under the tutelage of Barry Synder, Alan Chow, Enrico Elisi, and Dariusz Terefenko. She also holds a degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester (BS). Arahata grew up in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and her interests outside of music include traveling, photography, and painting.

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