Violist and native of Japan, Kenichiro Matsuda came to the United States after three and a half years with the New Japan Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa. He attended Kunitachi Music College in Tokyo and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL., where he received his BM and MM in viola performance.
Ken was a member of the Grant Park Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic (Acting Assistant Principal Violist) before joining the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in 1987. He has also played with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a regular substitute violist and has participated in touring and recording.
Besides teaching privately, he has taught viola at universities and colleges in Michigan and Ohio. Most recently, Ken taught at the University Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) as an adjunct viola professor (2020 - 2022). He is currently an adjunct instructor at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. Ken was on faculty at the Cshey Summer School of Music (Langhorn, PA) and MasterWorks Festival (Spartanburg, SC).
He is the violist of the Cygnus Quartet and enjoys playing chamber music with his colleagues. He toured Japan (1988) with the Columbus String Quartet as well as Estonia (1999) with the Songs Artis Quartet. As part of a Christian mission trip, he has been visiting Karuizawa, Japan regularly with a string ensemble since 2005. In 2018, Ken was invited to play with the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra under Junichi Hirokami to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Hiroshima, Japan.
He was formerly a part of the Nissen Duo (Viola and Piano) along with his late wife, Tanya.
For the past 27 years, he has been the conductor of “Hanamizuki no Kai”, the Japanese Women’s Chorus in Columbus, Ohio.
His teachers include Nobuko Imai, Jerry Horner, Bernard Zaslav, and Shumel Ashkenazi of the Vermeer Quartet.
Ken plays a viola made in 2020 by Tetsuo Matsuda (no relation) of Barrington, IL.