The Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute was founded by the late Mr. Yoshihiko Hirata, with the support and assistance of his wife, Mihoko Hirata.  Mrs. Hirata taught at the institute for many years and continues to be actively involved through her board service and teaching.

Faculty from the inaugural year, 1988, pictured above.

Front row, left to right: Bill Starr, Hachiro Hirose, Jackie Corina, Hiroko Primrose, Yasuko Eastman, Mihoko Hirata.
2nd row, left to right: Barbara Solowan (now Reilly), Sarah Hersh, Cathy Lee, Gaye Detzer, Yoshihiko Hirata, Sandra Payton.
3rd  row, left to right (cello teachers): Carla Lumsden, Barbara Balatero, Richard Aaron, Akira Nakajima.

The Institute brings together students from several countries to study with excellent teachers from Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dr. Suzuki’s idea of a better world through Talent Education was born out of the destruction and devastation of World War II. At the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, we celebrate his legacy by providing positive experiences and a unique opportunity for students, parents, and teachers to come together and share musical ideas and musical skills.

In 2021, JSSI has a new initiative promoting diversity in classical music education. We are highlighting the music of two Black women composers — one living — who will speak at our Teen Symposium and introduce her work before it is performed at our faculty recital on Wednesday night. As teachers and students from Washington state and beyond gather at JSSI to learn, then share with their home communities, JSSI helps to strengthen and diversify the Suzuki Music community. 


Support our mission

Your tax-deductible contribution supports the Suzuki Education and Research Association, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute. Our EIN is 91-1324510, and we have earned the Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency.