Who’s Who

Jury and Collaborating Artists


SAKAI Hideaki
Sakai Hideaki(Chairperson)Japan

After graduating from the Kunitachi College of Music with the highest honor in 1977, Sakai Hideaki continued his studies at the Northwest German Music Academy Detmold and the University of Music Munich. He studied with Paul Meisen and Ishihara Toshinori. He won the 3rd prize (no 1st prize awarded) in the Munich ADR Competition in 1979 and 2nd prize (no 1st prize awarded) in the Geneva International Music Competition in 1983. In 1984, he became a principal flute of the Philharmonia Hungarica, where he played until 1995. Since his return to Japan in 1995, Sakai performs as a soloist and chamber musician and is juror at various competitions. He is Visiting Professor of Senzokugakuen Music College and Chairman of the Japan Flute Association.

Silvia Careddu
Silvia CaredduItaly

Premier Grand Prix à l’unanimité and Prix du Public of the prestigious Geneva International Music Competition, Silvia Careddu is currently principal flute of the Orchestre National de France and of the Kammerakademie Potsdam. She has held the same role at the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and at the Wiener Symphoniker, as well as collaborating with the most important european orchestras. She frequently performs as a soloist with international renowned orchestras throughout Europe and as a chamber musician she can be heard in major festivals in Europe, Japan and Korea. Professor at the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK), Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Italy). She holds masterclasses in Europe, Asia, United States and is invited to participate and chair juries of important international competitions.

Renate Greiss-Armin
Renate Greiss-ArminGermany

Renate Greiss-Armin studied flute with Klaus Schochow, Aurèle Nicolet and Jean-Pierre Rampal.While in Freiburg she was an assistant to Prof. Nicolet. After her studies, during which she was the laureate at various national and international music competitions, she was principal flute of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recorded, taught master classes and played extensively in Europe, Asia and South America as soloist, chamber musician and principal flute of the main orchestras of Europe. Ms. Greiss-Armin, was professor of flute at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe until 2017, and graduates of her class are the prizewinners of flute competitions as well as occupying important positions in leading European Orchestras and as professors in universities of music. She plays concerts, gives master classes in Europe and Asia and is juror at major national and international competitions.

Timothy Hutchins
Timothy HutchinsCanada

Timothy Hutchins, Principal flute of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1978, is regarded as one of the world’s renowned flutists. From the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to NHK Symphony Orchestra, Hutchins has appeared with these and other renowned orchestras. He was the principal flute position of the New York Philharmonic, and later the same position with the Boston and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. He is heard on many other recordings as principal flute and as soloist. Hutchins is a very highly regarded pedagogue and juror at major international competitions. Teaching at McGill University, and in masterclasses across Canada, the USA, Japan and in the UK, his students have won positions with leading orchestras around the world and become highly successful pedagogues and performers.

Andrea Lieberknecht
Andrea LieberknechtGermany

Andrea Lieberknecht became principal flute with the Munich Radio Orchestra while still a student. In 1991, she moved to the same position with the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, where she played until 2002. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has won numerous international competitions, including the “Prague Spring” in 1991 and the flute competition in Kobe/Japan in 1993, as well as the chamber music competitions in Colmar, Trapani, Belgrade and the ARD competition in Munich. In addition to her extensive concert activities, Andrea Lieberknecht has been a professor of flute for 25 years, first at the Hannover University of Music & Drama, and since 2011 at the State University of Music & Drama in Munich. Her students have won major international flute competitions and hold positions in renowned orchestras.

Andrea Oliva
Andrea OlivaItaly

Andrea Oliva studied with Gabriele Betti, Claudio Montafia, Glauco Cambursano, Jean Claude Gerard and Sir James Galway. He was invited as Principal Flute by the Berlin Philharmonic. He was awarded the third prize at the ARD Munich (2004) and first prize at the Kobe International Flute Competition (2005). He has performed as soloist with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra (Nielsen Concerto and the Italian premiere of Dalbavie Concerto). As a soloist and teacher, he has been invited to many flute festivals around the world. Andrea Oliva is currently Principal Flautist of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, Italy, Professor at the CSI Music University of Lugano, Switzerland and Visiting Flute Professor at the RNCM of Manchester.

Piao Meixiang
Piao MeixiangChina

Piao Meixiang graduated from Shanghai Music Academy and joined the China Philharmonic Orchestra in 1989. She studied at Osaka College of Music in 1991, and completed her graduate studies at Tokyo University of the Arts 1995. She studied with Zhu Tongde, Liu Pin, Sone Ryoichi, and Kim Chang-Kook. After returning to China in 1996, Piao became a lecturer at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and a guest principal flutist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. She was the music director of the 2010 (3rd) and 2019 (10th) Asia Flute Federation (AFF) Congresses. Professor of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Exective Director of China Flute Association, President of Asia Flutists Federation, and YAMAHA Flute Artist.

Felix Renggli
Felix RenggliSwitzerland

Felix Renggli studied with Aurèle Nicolet and Peter-Lukas Graf. After graduating from the Music Academy Basel, he freelanced as a solo flutist in various orchestras in Switzerland and Europe. He frequently performs as a soloist and chamber musician as well as teaching masterclasses throughout Europe, South America, the US, Japan, Korea and China and has appeared as a guest artist at international music festivals. Since 1994, Renggli is Professor for Flute and Chamber Music at the “Hochschule für Musik” in Basel and since 2014 also at the “Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana”, Lugano. From 2004-14 he was professor at the “University of Music” in Freiburg, Germany. Since 1999 Felix Renggli acts as Artistic Director of the Swiss Chamber Concerts.

Sakuma Yumiko
Sakuma YumikoJapan

Sakuma Yumiko studied at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris and graduated with a unanimous Premiere Prix, and completed the third chamber music course with the Baroque Trio (Trio Forlane). She studied with Miyamoto Akiyasu, A. Marion, R. Guiot, and C. Lardé. She was awarded the first prize at the Rampal International Competition and the Joseph Rampal Prize in 1983, the gold medal at the 1984 Bordeaux International Festival, and the second prize at the 1st Kobe International Flute Competition in 1985. Sakuma has performed as a soloist and with numerous orchestras throughout Japan, and is highly renowned for her ambitious exploration of the possibilities of flute in chamber music. She received the Mobil Music Award for Encouragement in 1992, and is a visiting professor at Kunitachi College of Music and the Graduate School of Music.

Collaborating Artists

ISHIBASHI Naoko / pianist

After attending Toho Gakuen Music High School, Ishibashi Naoko graduated from Toho Gakuen College Music Department. She received a special award for her outstanding performance as an accompanist of the flute section at the 82nd Music Competition of Japan and the Best Accompanist Award at the Biwako International Flute Competition. She has performed at recitals and recordings with musicians in Japan and abroad, and also actively engaged with music festivals in Asia, Europe, and Central America. She has been invited as an official pianist to various competitions and has been an official pianist for the Kobe International Flute Competition since the 5th edition.

OKAMOTO Tomoya / pianist

Graduating from Kunitachi College of Music and completing a master’s degree at the same college and then from CRR of Paris with an advanced graduation diploma, Okamoto Tomoya has performed as a soloist and ensemble pianist with renowned musicians worldwide and with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra as a guest player. Assistant accompanist for wind and percussion at the Tokyo University of the Arts and Lecturer for piano at the Kunitachi College of Music. He was awarded the unanimous first medal from the Brest International Piano Competition, the 34th Kirishima International Music Festival Award, the Best Accompanist Award from the 37th Kyoto Art Festival and the 21st Yuai German Lied Competition, and the first prize and Yamaguchi Prefecture Governor’s Award in the chamber music section from the 12th Akiyoshidai Music Competition. He has been the official pianist of the Kobe International Flute Competition since the 10th edition.

SUZUKI Kaeko / pianist

Graduating from the Kyoto City University of Arts, Suzuki Kaeko received the Artists Diploma from Indiana University and continued her studies in Germany and France. After returning to Japan, she gave well-received solo recitals in Kyoto, Hyogo, and other cities. She has performed in chamber music with renowned musicians such as Tsutsumi Tsuyoshi, Uemura Noboru, William Bennett, and Trevor Wye. She plays extensively in Taiwan, China, and the US and was invited to perform at the Celebrate Concert for the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. She has been an official pianist of the Kobe International Flute Competition since the 8th edition.

UENO Madoka / pianist

After graduating from University of Music Munich, Ueno Madoka completed the master course in Piano Chamber Music and Liedgestaltung with the highest honor at the Mozarteum University, Salzburg. In 2009/10 she was member of the International Opera Studio at the State Theater Nürnberg as an opera chorepetiteur and was awarded numerous international competitions. Since 2011, she has been a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. She also plays in flute festivals around the world with renowned flutists. She also performs as an official accompanist to the Munich ARD Competition, Aeolus Competition, and Larrieu Competition. She has frequently performed with the laureates and jury members of Kobe International Competitions.

YOGUCHI Rie / pianist

After attending the Tokyo University of the Arts, Yoguchi Rie completed a master’s degree in music at the same university. She received the Best Accompanist Award in the Biwako International Flute Competition four times. While playing as an official accompanist at numerous competitions, she was awarded the special prize for her performance as an accompanist in the flute section of the 76th Music Competition of Japan in 2007. She has performed as an ensemble pianist with internationally renowned musicians and has received overwhelming trust. Performance Researcher of the Department of Winds and Percussion at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Lecturer at the Showa University of Music and the Showa College of Music. She has been an official pianist of the Kobe International Flute Competition since the 5th edition.

Kobe City Chamber Orchestra (KCCO)

Founded in 1981 by Kobe City as a chamber ensemble of talented string players, with Gerhard Bosse and Okayama Kiyoshi as music directors, the orchestra performed with leading conductors and soloists from Japan and abroad. Wind musicians newly joining, the orchestra was named from 2018 onwards the Kobe City Chamber Orchestra (KCCO). With the world-renowned cellist and conductor Suzuki Hidemi as the music director since 2021, the orchestra has pursued high-quality ensembles, especially in classical music. As well as acclaimed performances on stage, the KCCO is passionate about providing diverse programs, expanding access for everybody to participate in concerts, and helping individuals and communities through music. Associate member of the Association of Japan Symphony Orchestras.