Chika Inoue is a distinguished classical saxophonist, celebrated for her exquisite tone, acute sensitivity, and virtuosic technique. She has earned high praise from notable figures in the music world, including The Los Angeles Times and James Conlon, music director of LA Opera, who admired her for having “one of the most beautiful saxophone sounds I have ever heard.”
A native of Osaka, Japan, Chika spent her formative years in Frankfurt, Germany, and San Diego, California. Originally a pianist, she switched to saxophone when she joined her high school marching band in San Diego. While singers, cellists and pianists influenced her development, she credits Arno Bornkamp for influencing her early saxophone development. Her journey in music led her to prestigious institutions where she honed her craft. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a Master’s degree from California State University, Fresno, and a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Southern California.
Inoue’s career is marked by an extensive concert touring schedule that spans North America, Europe, and Asia, receiving widespread admiration. Her performances as a soloist at significant music festivals such as the Granada Music Festival in Spain, Faenza International Saxophone Festival in Italy, and Yamaha Saxophone Festival in Japan have been especially noteworthy. Moreover, she has performed with eminent conductors like Gustavo Dudamel, Susanna Mälkki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael-Tilson Thomas, Carl St.Clair, James Conlon, Elim Chan, and John Adams, and has made appearances with the Santa Monica Symphony, Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Culver City Chamber Orchestra, California Opera, and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. She regularly performs as a saxophonist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, exemplifying her versatility and exceptional musicianship.
Inoue’s collaborations extend to diverse projects, including ‘Chika & Scott,’ a classical guitar and saxophone duo with guitar virtuoso Scott Morris. Their debut recording album, “Unfettered,” was recorded at the legendary Capitol Records “Studio A” in Hollywood. She has also given duo recitals with master pianists Mikiko Yamaguchi in Japan and Mary Au in Los Angeles, exploring beyond the standard repertoire and pushing the boundaries of the instruments’ technique and artistry.
As an educator, Inoue is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion for the saxophone. She is a respected faculty member at California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she imparts her expertise to the next generation of musicians. Her commitment to promoting classical saxophone music is further demonstrated through her endorsements by Conn-Selmer, playing Henri Selmer Paris saxophones, and Vandoren, and Key Leaves as a performing artist.
Page last updated 12/4/2023.