Texas Rising Stars: Soloist Biographies

During the Texas Rising Stars concert on February 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Austin Civic Orchestra will accompany the three winners of the Butler School of Music’s String Concerto Competition. Read the artists’ bios below and join us for the performance!

Emmanuelle (Ellie) Sievers

Japanese-American violinist Emmanuelle (Ellie) Sievers is emerging on the music scene as a vibrant soloist, orchestral, and chamber performer. Her recent accolades include the Senior Audience Prize at the 2022 St. Paul String Quartet Competition, in which she participated as a member of the YĆ”nsĆ¹ Quartet; Grand Prize at the 2021 International Music Festival and Competition in Markham, Ontario; and First Place in Open Strings at the 2021 Ontario Music Festivals Association Provincial Competition.

Ellie has played in numerous orchestras, including the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, where she currently serves as co-concertmaster; the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan (2023); the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra in Germany (2022); the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2019-2021); and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (2017-2020), where she served as co-concertmaster for the 2019-2020 season. She has also performed as a soloist with the Canadian Sinfonietta, the North York Concert Orchestra, and the Kindred Spirits Orchestra. Ellie has been a featured performer in the Confluence Concerts series in Toronto (2019), the Newmarket Young Artistsā€™ Showcase (2019), and the Suzuki Method Ten Children Tour in Japan (2013). She also participated in the prestigious Young Artists Summer Program at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2018.

Awarded the Starling Distinguished Violinist Scholarship, Ellie is currently studying under Professor Brian Lewis at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin for her Bachelor of Music Degree. Ellie previously studied with Wendy Seravalle-Smith and Yasuyo Matsui, and has played in masterclasses for internationally renowned musicians and pedagogues including Philip Setzer, Nathan Cole, Vijay Gupta, Erin Keefe, Stephen Rose, Yukari Tate, and Reiko Watanabe. In the future, she aims to use music and multimedia to create storytelling that bridges cultures and advocates for human rights and values

Katsuaki Arakawa

Katsuaki Arakawa, is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Cello Performance at the University of Texas. He began playing the cello at age 9 and has since then been awarded Winner in the Suburban Symphony young artistsā€™ competition in 2016 and the Cleveland Cello Society Scholarship Competitionā€™s senior division in 2017. He has also performed in various orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (2015-2018), Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras (2012-2014), and the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, where he currently serves as co-principal. He has also performed in masterclasses for cellists such as Johannes Moser, Santiago CaƱon-Valencia, and Brandon Vamos. Katsuaki has attended various Summer Festivals including the International Cello Institute (2023), Chautauqua
Institution (2019-2022), ENCORE Chamber Music Festival (2017), and Brevard Music Center (2015).

Katsuaki currently Studies with Professor Bion Tsang at the University of Texas and has been awarded the Friends of Cello Scholarship. His previous teachers include Amir Eldan and Anthony Elliot, both at the University of Michigan where Katsuaki received his Bachelorā€™s Degree; and Mark Kosower.