Sadao Harada began to study the cello under his father who was a cellist in the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and then he studied under Hideo Saito. He graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music. Harada served as the youngest principal cellist at the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and then entered The Juilliard School, where he studied chamber music under Claus Adam, Robert Man, and Raphael Hillyer. Then, he founded the Tokyo String Quartet which soon gained international prominence, winning the ARD International Music Competition Munich among other awards. Harada has performed at prestigious halls around the world, such as La Scala, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and New York Carnegie Hall, and gave excellent performances including Beethoven Zyklus. His recordings have also won many prizes. He left the Tokyo String Quartet in 1999 after leading it for thirty years. Then Harada performed as soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Jun Märkl), the New Japan Philharmonic (conducted by Seiji Ozawa), Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, and many other orchestras. In chamber music, he has performed with Robert Man, Alban Berg Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, Jessye Norman, Pinchas Zukerman, Isaac Stern, and others. Harada regularly performs with the Saito Kinen Orchestra. Currently he is a member of the Mito Chamber Orchestra and as a member of D'Amici String Quartet, which was formed in 2006, he performs and gives chamber music classes in various areas in Japan, at Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in Italy and Germany, Washington DC in the U.S., etc. In addition to his performance activities, Harada is engaged in teaching future generations of musicians at Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy Okushiga, Project Q, Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland, Tanglewood Music Festival Chamber Music Master Classes, and chamber music classes in Beijing, and so on. He was a professor in Yale University Department of Music and at the Trossingen University of Music, Germany, and currently serves as a specially appointed professor at Ueno Gakuen University in Japan.

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