Yuko Araya was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1959. His first piano studies began at the age of six. In 1978, he entered Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo where he studied with Kazuko Abe and Kyoko Okayama. In 1981, he made his professional concert debut in Sapporo, then the following year received both his Bachelor of Arts degree and the music teacher's certificate of Japan.
Mr. Araya came to the United States in 1982, where he entered the University of North Texas in 1983, as a piano student of Joseph Banowetz, who is an internationally known concert pianist, author and recording artist. He also studied with Larry Walz and Jack Guerry there.
In 1987 he was awarded his Masters Degree in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas. He has completed all the course works about Doctor of Musical Arts degree there.
In 1994, he studied for one half year at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. With Igor Lebedev, the coordinator of the piano department, and Valerie Gensler, he emphasized the 19th Century Russian piano music - both in performance technique and style.
During his residency at the University of North Texas, Mr. Araya has won numerous scholarships and teaching fellowships including the Silvio and Isabel Scionti Award and the Pi Kappa Lambda Award. In 1982, he was invited to write an article for the Journal of Piano Teachers National Association of Japan. Mr. Araya has performed widely as recitalist in Japan and the United States.
After living in the US for 22 years, Mr. Araya moved his studio to Tokyo, Japan, in 2004.
4/24/90: Competitive Music Scholarship at University of North Texas
4/14/89: Competitive Music Scholarship at University of North Texas
5/6/88: Henry and Marcelle Huberman Piano Scholarship at University of North Texas
4/23/87: Robert J. Rogers Piano Scholarship at University of North Texas
3/15/86: Teaching Fellowship at University of North Texas
5/27/85: A. L. Putman Piano Scholarship at University or North Texas
5/14/84: Music Service Award at University of North Texas
4/17/84: Silvio and Isabel Scionti Piano Scholarship at University of North Texas