Eliko Akahori

Senior Music Performance Faculty in Piano and Director, Music Performance Program

Pianist, teacher, and performer of piano and chamber music.

As a pianist, I frequently perform chamber music in the Boston area. I enjoy collaborating with fellow musicians, including my colleagues at Wellesley as well as faculty at New England Conservatory and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. My background in composition and music theory, in addition to performance, provides me with tools to consider music from different perspectives and influences my approach to the piano repertoire. I enjoy playing all different periods of classical music, but, in particular, I enjoy Mozart and 20th century music. During the summer, I spend my time performing at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan with musicians from Europe, Asia, and the United States. I am currently completing my dissertation on contemporary Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa's music, focusing on how Hosokawa accentuates the Japanese essence of his music by utilizing concepts from Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetics.

I teach piano and coach other instrumentalists and singers not just how to play but also how to approach music. Developing the technical skills to play an instrument is important, but it is equally important that a musician develops other skills as well: analyzing how smaller elements fit together to create the overall structure of a piece, understanding the appropriate musical style for a particular piece, and realizing the roles that the individual parts contribute to a piece. I emphasize all of these elements of musicianship and use of a wide range of types and periods of music. In addition to individual lessons, I offer studio classes so that students can practice performing and communicating with an audience. My goal is to encourage a desire to have music as a part of one’s life, and to instill a desire to express and share the beauty of music with others.

One of my ongoing projects is to find effective ways to help students maximize the quality of their practicing. My students at Wellesley are involved in such a wide range of academic and extracurricular interests, and they sometimes have limited time to devote to practicing. Accordingly, I find that teaching efficient and effective practice techniques can help them make great progress with the limited time they may have.

Away from music, I love baking, playing tennis, and reading mystery novels.


  • B.M., Kunitachi College of Music (Japan)
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
  • D.M.A., New England Conservatory of Music