Julie Saito, 57
International civil servant
Ile-de-France, France

Julie Saito began playing the piano in Tokyo at age 6. She studied with great American pianists during her upbringing in several countries, including Carol Colburn in Nairobi, Kenya, Gary Hammond in New York, and Ada Kopetz-Korf at the Manhattan School of Music in 1983–1984. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in musicology from Hunter College, she decided to change direction and attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. During her 20-year career, she won an Emmy Award for NBC News and worked for The Asahi Shimbun in Japan. She moved to Paris in 2006 with her three children and is currently working at UNESCO. Her passion for piano was rekindled only three years ago; she met her partner who is also an amateur pianist. Ms. Saito gives regular recitals in homes for the elderly. She also enjoys ballet and still writes articles on dance and music.


Preliminary Round
TAKEMITSU   Rain Tree Sketch II
LISZT   Concert Etude No. 3 in D-flat Major (“Un Sospiro”)

Quarterfinal Round
SCHUBERT   Impromptu in B-flat Major, op. 142, no. 3
DEBUSSY   Feux d’artifice from Preludes, Book II

Semifinal Round
BACH   French Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 813
FAURÉ   Nocturne No. 4 in E-flat Major, op. 36
RAVEL   Sonatine

Final Round
MOZART   Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: III. Allegro assai