Eriko Daimo has been called a “mesmerizing combination of sound and sight” by the Irish Times. Her recent performances include concerto performances with the RTE Ireland National Symphony Orchestra, the Tampere Philharmonic in Finland, the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, as well as recital tours to over 25 countries. She frequently serves as a judge at national and international competitions and presents masterclasses at such renowned institutions as the Vienna Conservatory, the Paris Conservatory, the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and The Juilliard School. Daimo is on the faculty and Director of Marimba Studies at New York University, Steinhardt, and faculty at The Juilliard School pre-college division.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Eriko Daimo: I cannot even imagine my life without being surrounded by percussion instruments and percussion lover friends! If I weren’t a percussionist and educator, I would not be who I am right now.
R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?
ED: I was proudly a waiter at a super delicious and lovely Italian restaurant for four years while I was an undergrad student in Nagoya, Japan. I learned how to cook and decorate dishes while I was working there. That place is called Casseta di Capri, so going to Capri Island was a long-time dream of mine. Last year, I finally had the opportunity to go that super beautiful dreamy island with my husband!
R!S: What's one thing most people don’t know about you?
ED: I am a licensed scuba diver. I love to see deep inside the ocean and swim with many sea creatures, although I am not a particularly good swimmer.
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
ED: Timpani and marimba. I love both their warm and deep sounds. I simply love the organic wooden sound of marimba, and timpani is like a lion in the orchestra for me. I feel so many possibilities for timpani as well as marimba.
R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
ED: I grew up in Kagoshima, which is in the southern part of Japan, surrounded by mountains and the ocean. Kagoshima is known for its beautiful nature, hot springs, an active volcano, delicious food, and shochu (Japanese distilled Sake)! So my childhood memories are all playing very hard in the gorgeous wilderness with sisters and friends, and practicing piano very hard.