"[Her playing] was unflinching and luminous...Her passion for watercolors is on display in her musicianship; she expertly manipulated her tone color, fading from compressed brightness to a wispy shimmer in the space of a blink....A note from her was never just a note...Whatever project she takes on next, it is sure to be worth a listen." - The Boston Globe
"Brilliant soloist" - The New York Times
"Her technique is equal to all challenges, secure, effortless and unobtrusive; her tone is lovely, pure, and variable in color and intensity" - New York Concert Review
"Soloist Ayano Ninomiya presented a spiritual, immersive account of the work...[her] playing had a hypnotic effect...." - The Boston Musical Intelligencer
"Violinist Ayano Ninomiya was the excellent soloist...[her] playing conveyed an airy otherworldliness." - The Boston Globe
"Ninomiya was featured on Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, playing with electrifying passion [and] refinement....It was gorgeous and mesmerizing to watch her play the piece. While Ninomiya was on stage, the entirety of Symphony Hall leaned towards her, raptly attentive. And when she stepped off, the audience missed her onstage presence." - The Daily Free Press
“...deeply communicative and engrossing...” - The New York Times
"Ninomiya dazzled with her lightning-speed bow work and flawless technique..." - Live review from Winnipeg
"Ninomiya played with the greatest intensity...she was no less persuasive in conveying the mystery...the fire...and both the wrenching quality and sheer sweetness of sound required..." - The New York Times
"The audience whooped, whistled, and shouted with delight at [Ninomiya's] feats of virtuosity but also listened attentively to the quiet authoritative musicianship at the core of everything she did." - The Boston Globe
"The first violinist Ayano Ninomiya...should take some credit for these inner voices coming through so powerfully. Fully capable as she is of dominating with rich opulence...she held back in the Beethoven, contributing to the textures and leading only when the music demanded. She has a formidable bow arm and a whole repertoire of sounds that she uses with great imagination and discretion." - The Washington Post
"...dazzling technique, pure tone, and intensity of expression...." - The New York City blog
"She played [Wieniawski's Concerto no. 2] splendidly, with bold tone and accents, a sumptuously singing line, and stupendous virtuosity throughout, especially in the gypsy-style rondo-finale, which she delivered with abandon and élan." - Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"Ninomiya captured the ethnic flair...with grace and élan, and her command of the altissimo register in the final movement was outstanding."
- Cafe Momus blog
"Ninomiya...drew a diamond of a performance shining in elegant brilliancy" - The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Praised by The New York Times as a "deeply communicative and engrossing" performer, violinist Ayano Ninomiya is committed to creating invigorating live performance experiences from the concert stage to private homes and public schools. The Boston Globe wrote recently, "A note from her was never just a note...Whatever project she takes on next, it is sure to be worth a listen."
Equally at home as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Ayano has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. In addition to recent performances at Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall, upcoming performances include solos with A Far Cry, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Music Mountain Festival, the Sembrich Opera Museum, and the Moab Festival. She will also perform on the Beaux Arts Series (FL), Chamber Music International (TX), Chameleon Ensemble (MA), as well as at the Cooperstown, Orford (Canada), Halcyon, Morningside Music, Music Mountain, Interlochen Arts, and Anchorage Chamber Music festivals.
During the summer season, she regularly performs at the Kingston, Skaneateles, Bowdoin, and Moab music festivals. She has toured the west and east coasts of the U.S. and France with "Musicians from Marlboro" (Marlboro Festival) and "Musicians from the Steans Institute" (Ravinia Festival), and her numerous awards include top prizes at the Naumburg International Violin Competition, the Tibor Varga International Competition, Astral Artists National Auditions, and the Young Performer’s Career Advancement Award (APAP). As a recording artist, Ayano has released a variety of albums including a solo album of works for violin by Larry Bell and more recently, three albums as the first violinist of the Ying Quartet.
In 2012 Ayano was invited to give a TEDx talk at the University of Tokyo. Other past projects include a benefit performance for victims of the 2009 Haiti earthquake, a fundraiser in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake with sumo wrestler Konishiki, and the creation of her own Elderhostel “Day of Adventure” programs in NYC that gave an insider's view of making music. As a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fellowship, Ayano conducted research of scores at the Bartók Archives in Budapest, Hungary. Because of her own experience beginning the violin in a public school program in Boston at the age of seven, Ayano has given numerous programs for children across the U.S. from Bethlehem, New Hampshire to Columbia, Missouri, to Denton, Maryland.
After graduating from Harvard University and The Juilliard School, she studied at the Franz Liszt Academy. Her principal teachers were Miriam Fried, Robert Mann, Eszter Perenyi, Michele Auclair, and Robert Levin at Harvard. From 2010-2015, Ayano was first violinist of the renowned Ying Quartet and Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music. In the fall of 2015 she joined the faculty of New England Conservatory of Music. She has been a volunteer tutor for at-risk high school students at the East Harlem Justice Center and volunteer at the Lighthouse Music School (NYC). She is also a founding member of the exciting conductorless string orchestra, ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra), which is composed of soloists and leaders of quartets and orchestras from around the U.S. In her spare time, Ayano enjoys painting and practicing the martial art Aikido.