Wendy Yamashita, a U.S. Presidential Scholar, has been recognized for her outstanding achievements in the arts by President Ronald Reagan, the Governor of the State of Hawaii, the Mayor of Honolulu, and the Superintendent of Education and had the honor of performing for Her Imperial Highness Princess Norinomiya of Japan and The Honorable Consul General of Japan.
Since her orchestral debut with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra at age eight, Dr. Yamashita appeared with the Seattle Philharmonic, University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, University of Washington Wind Ensemble, University of Hawaii Symphony, Maui Symphony, Maui Pops! Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony and performed in the United Kingdom, Japan, and major US venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Meany Theatre, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall and Arena. Her performances have also been featured on National Public Radio and television.
Dr. Yamashita’s accolades include top prizes at the Los Angeles Liszt Competition, Pinault International Competition, and Ladies’ Music Club Debut Competition, and is a recipient of the Outstanding Young Women of America, National Foundation for the Arts Award, Frances Dickey Music Education Award, Paderewski Gold Medal, Promise of Excellence Award Women in Communications Matrix Table: Seattle Professional Chapter, and Amfac Award in Music.
Prior to joining the University of Hawaii Music Department, Dr. Yamashita served on the Piano Faculty and as Chair of the Secondary Piano Department at the University of Washington. As a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association, she was appointed as Southwest Division Certification Chair and served on the Hawaii Music Teachers’ Association board and president of the Honolulu Piano Teachers’ Association. She has also presented masterclasses, lecture-recitals and served as an adjudicator in the US and abroad.
Dr. Yamashita also maintains a private piano studio. Her students have won top prizes at state, national and international competitions and continued their studies at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Columbia University Teachers’ College.
A native of Hawaii, Dr. Yamashita received her degrees in piano performance from The Juilliard School (BM and MM) as an honorary scholarship student of Adele Marcus and University of Washington (DMA) with Robin McCabe & Bela Siki. Additional studies with Oxana Yablonskaya, Byron Janis, Gary Graffman, Paul Badura-Skoda, Joseph Bloch, Lili Kraus, Nelita True, and Aube Tzerko.