The son of a German-Japanese family born in 1979 in Bonn, received his first cello lessons at the age of four. After completing studies with Hans Christian Schweiker, he spent time in the United States studying at Indiana University. Boris Pergamenschikov, with whom he studied at the Hanns Eisler Conservatory in Berlin from 1998 until 2004, has been a fundamental influence on him, both artistically and personally. From 2004 to 2006, he studied at the Conservatory with Tabea Zimmermann. He has also been strongly influenced by Bernhard Greenhouse, Michael Denhoff, György Kurtág, Menahem Pressler and the Amadeus-Quartet.
After previously winning 1st prizes at the 1998 international Gaspar Cassado Cello Competition in Spain and the 1999 International Lutoslawski Cello Competition in Warsaw, Danjulo Ishizaka won the 1st prize at the renowned ARD international music competition in Munich, Germany in 2001. In 2002, he claimed the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann of the Kronberg Academy and the Universität der Künste in Berlin – this competition, under the patronage of Daniel Barenboim, was created in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the legendary cellist, Emanuel Feuermann.
Danjulo Ishizaka’s debut at the Vienna Musikverein with the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra under the baton of Krzysztof Penderecki in November 2003 marked the launch of his international career. Since then he has been performing around the world with leading orchestras such as the Gewandhaus Orchester zu Leipzig, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Budapest Festival Orchester the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Among others, he performed under the baton of conductors such as Gerd Albrecht, John Axelrod, Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Lawrence Foster, Michail und Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Roger Norrington, Christoph Poppen, Mstislaw Rostropovich and Leonard Slatkin. He worked in close collaboration with Rostropovich. The cello legend described Ishizaka’s performance with these words: “phenomenal in his technical ability, perfect in his musical creative power”.
Danjulo Ishizaka was chosen for BBC Radio 3’s renowned “New Generation Artists scheme,” providing him with the opportunity to make numerous studio recordings in 2007 and 2008 – solo, with piano and with the five BBC Symphony Orchestras – as well as debut recitals at Wigmore Hall London.
Ishizaka is regularly invited to perform at renowned music festivals such as the Bachwoche Ansbach, Cellofestival in Kronberg, te Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Penderecki Festival, the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Kissinger Sommer, the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, the BBC Proms, the Verbier Festival, the Luzern Festival, the City of London Festival, the Manchester Cello Festival, the HongKong Arts Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival.
His international concert schedule regularly takes him throughout Europe, Asia and the US. In March 2006 he had his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Ishizaka has performed chamber music with artists including Gidon Kremer, Lisa Batiashvili, Viviane Hagner, Tabea Zimmermann, Julia Fischer, Baiba Skride, Antje Weithaas, Veronika Eberle and Ray Chen. Pianists José Gallardo, Martin Helmchen, Shai Wosner and Markus Schirmer are among his recital partners.
On his debut CD with Sony BMG, he recorded sonatas by Britten, Franck and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy with pianist Martin Helmchen. In 2006 the CD was awarded the “Echo Klassik” award of the German Phonographic Academy.
During the past season Danjulo Ishizaka performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington, with the Orchestre National de Belgique and Hugh Wolff, with the Opéra National de Paris with Philippe Jordan as well as with l’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and John Axelrod.
During the upcoming 2013/14 season Danjulo Ishizaka is going to debut – alongside several re-invites – with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna with Krzysztof Penderecki and the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra with Myung-Whun Chung as well as at the Haydn Festspiele with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Adam Fischer.
In 2011 Danjulo Ishizaka was appointed to a professorship for cello at the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden.
At the end of 2012 Danjulo Ishizaka was honored with the Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award, one of Japan’s biggest music awards, awarded by the Sony Music Foundation in Tokyo.
Danjulo Ishizaka performs on the Wolfgang Schnabl cello, formerly played by Boris Pergamenschikov and provided by the Kronberg Academy, as well as the 1696 Stradivarius Cello “Lord Aylesford”, previously played by Gregor Piatigorsky and Janos Starker, on loan to him from the Nippon Music Foundation.
“Danjulo Ishizaka is no longer just a talent but a true musical personality. His technical potential is phenomenal and he impresses with imaginative and spontaneous tonecolors and intelligent phrasing."