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Sayaka Selina


Since her solo debut at the Tonhalle Zurich with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the age of 15, Sayaka Selina is considered one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from Switzerland. 

Born in Zurich, Sayaka started playing the cello at the age of 6 with Rebecca Firth. At 15, she was admitted to Thomas Demenga's studio at the Hochschule für Musik Basel, where she graduated with honours in 2011. She then went on to study with Frans Helmerson and Jérôme Pernoo, also receiving top marks for her Masters Degree. Sayaka recently finished her Konzertexamen Degree at the renowned “Hanns Eisler” Academy in Berlin with Frans Helmerson and is currently a scholar of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where she is mentored by it’s principal cellist Ludwig Quandt.

Other important musical advice came from personalities such as Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, Natalia Gutman, Miklós Perény, Natalia Shakhovskaya, Miriam Fried, Gerhard Schulz, Lars Anders Tomter, Leon Fleisher and Menahem Pressler.

Sayaka Selina gained international recognition in 2012 when she played Thomas Demenga's Double Cello Concerto at the Piatigorsky Festival in Los Angeles alongside the composer and the Festival Orchestra under the baton of Hugh Wolff. Since then, concerts have led her through Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, USA, Japan, Korea, Denmark and Norway, where she performed in venues such as the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Kumho Hall in Seoul, Pierre-Boulez Saal in Berlin and the Tonhalle Zurich.


Sayaka is a frequent soloist with orchestras in Switzerland, such as the Zurich- and Basel Chamber Orchestras, the Zurich Camerata and the New Zurich Orchestra. Latest projects included Boccherinis Concerto in B major with the Camerata Zurich, the premiere of a piece for violin, cello and string orchestra, written by Thomas Demenga for her and her sister, violinist Sumina Studer; as well as Shostakovich's cello concerto No.1 with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.


An avid chamber musician, Sayaka has been invited to Festivals such as the Marlboro-, Santander-, Verbier- and Ravinia Festivals, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, as well as Incontri Musicali Spoleto, the Norsjø Kammermusikkfest, and Open Chamber Music Prussia Cove, where she worked with musicians such as Frans Helmerson, Nobuko Imai, Thomas Demenga, Jonathan Biss, Charles Neidich, Klaus Thunemann, and members of the Juilliard- and Kuss Quartets, the Endemyon Ensemble, and Tecchler Trio amongst others.

Sayaka has been awarded numerous prizes at national and international competitions such as the “Antonio Janigro” International Competition in Croatia, the Domenico Gabrielli Competition in Berlin, and most recently at the “Viva Hall” Cello Competition in Japan.

She has been kindly supported by several foundations, such as the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Migros Kulturprozent, the Yamaha-, and the Kiefer-Hablitzel Foundations.

She is currently playing a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello, on a generous private loan.

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