Born in Tokyo, Japan, Naoko Tanaka started playing violin at the age of four and studied at the Toho School. She won several prizes and competitions as a young violinist. In 1972, she moved to New York to study violin with Dorothy Delay and chamber music with Felix Galimir at The Juilliard School.
Besides Orchestra of St. Luke's, Ms. Tanaka is also a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Theater Chamber Players in Washington, D.C. In the last several years she has developed a very active music career in Japan, performing as a soloist, playing chamber music, and as a leader of a chamber orchestra under Seiji Ozawa. As a member of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, she recorded the Kurt Weill Violin Concerto, a Bach concerto, and chamber works by Schubert and Mozart. She made many recordings for Deutsche Grammophon as a member of Orpheus.
Ms. Tanaka also devotes much time and energy to teaching. She has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Brooklyn College, and Aspen Music School during the summer. She was also a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and New England Conservatory.