Starting at the age of 9, Yoshiko Tsuruta learned Marimba privately from Yukiko Sano in Japan.
After relocating to New Zealand in 2004, she graduated from the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington in music performance in 2010, having studied under Bruce McKinnon, Laurence Reese, Bud Jones and Jeremy Fitzsimons. She moved to Austria in 2010 and has completed her Master’s Degree (1st Class) at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz. There she studied marimba with Bogdan Bacanu and percussion with Leonhard Schmidinger.
Yoshiko has won several prizes both in Japan and New Zealand, including the 1st prizes in both the New Zealand School of Music Concerto Competition and the New Zealand National Concerto Competition, and the Brass/Percussion Prize in Gisborne Competition. She reached the semi-final of the International Marimba Competition in Salzburg in 2012. Most recently, she received the 2nd prize and all the extra prizes at the International Australian Marimba Competition in 2016.
As a soloist, Yoshiko has performed in several concertos on marimba with different orchestras, including Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and St Matthew’s Chamber orchestra (Auckland).
She was the principal Percussion of the National Youth Orchestra in 2008 and is currently the principal timpanist of Opus Orchestra.
Since returning from Europe Yoshiko endeavours to promote the Marimba and other orchestral Percussion in New Zealand, especially in solo and chamber music performance, while giving focus on arranging new repertoire for marimba. She gives solo performances as well as chamber music with various artists, including ‘Rata Trio’, consists of Saxophone, Bass Clarinet and Marimba. Yoshiko also teaches privately and at her own class, and gives master classes/workshops on different occasions, such as the National Brass Band Championships, where she was the jury for the percussion solo/ensemble section (2013).