Ueno Michiaki became the first Japanese winner of the 2021 Geneva International Competition Cello category, also winning three special awards including the Young Audience Prize, Rose Marie Huguenin Prize and Concert de Jussy Prize.
Born in Paraguay, he spent his childhood in Barcelona, Spain. At the age of 13, he became the first Japanese winner of the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in all categories. He was also the youngest winner of the 6th Romanian International Competition, the Romanian Embassy Prize, and the Romanian Radio and Cultural Authority Award. Ueno also won First Prize at the 21st Johannes Brahms International Cello Competition and Second Prize at the 11th Witold Lutosławski International Cello Competition. He has worked as a soloist with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Swiss Romande Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, and many other orchestras in Japan and abroad. In addition, Ueno has performed with famous artists such as Jean-Guihen Queyras, Daniel Sepec, Jose Gallardo, Tsutsumi Tsuyoshi, Suwanai Akiko, and Ito Kei.
He studied under Mori Hakuro as a full tuition waiver student of Toho Gakuen School of Music Soloist Diploma Course, and in the fall of 2015, he was invited to go to Germany by the famous Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey. At the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf, Ueno completed the Konzertexamen (German National Performer Qualification) with the unanimous highest score. Since 2021, he has also enrolled at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he is studying with Gary Hoffman. While further studying, Ueno is actively performing mainly in Europe and Japan.
He receives scholarships from the Munetsugu Angel Fund of the Japan Federation of Musicians, the Rohm Music Foundation, and the 44th Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation. Ueno received the 1st Foundation for Youth Award and the 6th Iwatani Tokiko Award Encouragement Prize from the Iwatani Tokiko Foundation, the Aoyama Music Award Newcomer Prize, the 31st Idemitsu Music Award. and the Agency for Cultural Affairs Director-General’s Award for FY 2021.
He plays a P. A. Testore (Munetsugu collection) made in 1758, and the bow is an F. Tourte loaned to him by an anonymous collector.