Rebecca Matayoshi


Photo by: Gareth Ormita


Violist Rebecca Matayoshi joined the Hawai’i Symphony in the 2017-2018 season. Other professional engagements include the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, and the Dresdner Philharmonie, as well as studio and commercial work in Los Angeles. Prior to that she was a violist with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Osaka, Japan. An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with artists from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, St. Cecilia Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony. Outside the classical world, she was a violist for the Broadway production of the Lion King, has performed with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and toured with folk and blues artist Cameron McGill.

As an educator, Rebecca has taught at the Estate Musicale Frentana festival in Lanciano, Italy and given masterclasses and coachings through the San Diego Youth Symphony, in addition to keeping a private teaching studio. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Dually Noted, a music organization that artistically pairs music and food (see for details).

Rebecca began her musical studies on piano at age 6 and viola at 10. She holds a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory where she studied on scholarship with Marcus Thompson. She completed her Bachelor of Music under the tutelage of Masumi Rostad and Rudolf Haken at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the Edward J. Krolick full-scholarship recipient. Some festival appearances include serving as principal viola at the Pacific Music Festival and performing at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, where her favorite experiences were playing the world premiere of Horațiu Rădulescu’s “String Quartet No. 4” (a piece for 9 string quartets) and Olivier Messiaen’s “Turangalila Symphony.”

Originally from Chicago, IL, Rebecca enjoys traveling, hiking, photography, reading, exploring the world of food, craft beer and wine, and performing as the pianist/keyboardist for her 80s cover band, The Modern Appliances.

How I got started playing my instrument

I started on piano and didn’t know what a viola was until my grade school brought the “cool middle school orchestra kids” in to demo their instruments as a way of recruiting for the string program. I was immediately drawn to its sound but because of a rule back then of having to learn violin before you could learn viola, I actually played cello for a year. The following year they got rid of that rule, I switched to viola and haven’t looked back since!

Favorite Composer

This is nearly impossible to answer, but a few that are dear to my heart are: Mahler, Bartók, Beethoven, Ives, and Wagner.

Favorite solo piece

Again, very difficult to answer, but I love playing Hindemith’s Sonata, Opus 11, No. 4. A beautifully written piece by a composer who understood the capabilities of the instrument very well (as he was a violist).

Other than classical music _____ is on my phone/iPod

Michael Jackson, Hall and Oates, INXS, Herbie Hancock, System of a Down, Smashing Pumpkins, Jamiroquai…it’s always changing but those are some of my staples!