Sawako Kayaki studied at the Tokyo University of the Arts and at the International Opera Academy (IOA) in Ghent. She sang lead roles in the IOA production Private View and in Belgian composer Annelies Van Parys' Lost & Found. The versatile soprano is also a committed song interpreter.
In the competition "Franz Schubert and Modern Music" organized by the University of Art in Graz, she won the special prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned work in the competition. At the international singing competition in Basel 2021 she received the first prize. She is currently on tour with the Belgian opera company Transparant in the role of Rosina in a production of the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia. In her next engagements she will be heard as "Queen of the Night" in Mozart's Magic Flute and as Adele in "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss.
Axel Bauni is not only internationally known as a piano partner for well-known singers, but also for his innovative concert, edition and university projects related to the song. Appearances on international podiums with, among others, Claudia Barainsky, Stella Doufexis, Mojca Erdmann, Michaela Kaune, Christine Schäfer, Doris Soffel, Iris Vermillion, Dietrich Henschel, Christoph Prégardien and Thomas Quasthoff. Numerous radio recordings and CD recordings, in particular the series "edition contemporary song" at ORFEO International, in which essential works of the song repertoire of the 20th century are published, some of them in first recordings.
After many years of teaching at various music colleges in Germany and abroad, in 2003 he was appointed professor and head of an interpretation class for contemporary song at the Berlin University of the Arts. 2004 founding of the “Liedforum Berlin”, which brings together students and lecturers from German and European music academies every two years. Axel Bauni is a co-initiator of the "German Song Academy" established in 2009 and the initiator of "liednet", an international network of song teachers at music colleges.
From 2020 also professor for song interpretation at the Mannheim University of Music.
Baritone Dietrich Henschel, artistic director of the LiedFest Berlin Oxford