Naoko Kikuchi (born in Sendai, Japan) studied koto as a child with her grandmother and mother. She also took lessons from Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai, and won prizes in a number of competitions. Subsequently, in 2007 Naoko received a year-long fellowship from the Japanese Government’s “Overseas Study Program for Artists” in order to study in Frankfurt, Germany, where she currently is a member of the International Ensemble Modern Academy. Her repertoire consists of traditional and contemporary koto music. Naoko Kikuchi has participated in projects with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg. She is currently Vice President of the Seigen Koto School in Akita, Japan.