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Sayaka Shoji is the first Japanese and youngest winner at the Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999.
She was born into an artistic family and spent her childhood in Siena, Italy. She studied at Hochschule für Musik Köln under Zakhar Bron and graduated in 2004. Her other teachers have included Sashko Gawrillow, Uto Ughi and Shlomo Mintz.
Zubin Mehta has been her strong supporter. When Shoji auditioned for him in 2000, he immediately changed his schedule in order to make her first recording with the Israel Philharmonic possible in the following month, then invited her to perform with Bavarian State Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)